Looking for something spicy, here is the Chinese Eggplant in Garlic Sauce. A deliciously uncomplicated dish to make with just the right amount of spice and heat to add excitement to a simple meal.
SERVING: Serves 4
- 2 tsps. cornstarch
- 2 tbs. light brown sugar
- 1 tsp. rice vinegar
- 1 tsp. garlic powder
- 4-5 Chinese eggplants- about 5 lbs. total
- 3-4 scallions – thinly sliced
- Salt and pepper
- 2 tsps. soy sauce – low sodium only
- 1 tb. hoisin sauce
- ½ tsp. Chinese 5 spice powder
- 1 pinch red pepper flakes – to taste
- 6 garlic cloves -chopped
- 1 ½ – 2 tsps. chili oil
- vegetable oil
- Mix ¾ cups of water and cornstarch in a medium bowl and whisk to combine well.
- Add the soy sauce, brown sugar, hoisin sauce, rice vinegar, Chinese five spice, garlic powder, red pepper flakes and whisk all together until completely combined. Set aside.
- Slice the ends of the eggplants and then slice them into thirds lengthwise so that you have 3 sections. Slice each section lengthwise into quarters so that you end up with sticks.
- Heat about 2 tablespoons of oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.
- Add half of the eggplant sticks, season with salt and pepper and cook until lightly charred and soft – about 8 – 10 minutes.
- Transfer to a bowl and repeat with remaining sticks.
- Deglaze the pan with 2 – 3 tablespoons water, scraping up all the brown bits on the bottom of the pan.
- Pour into the bowl with the eggplant. Lower the heat to medium and add a teaspoon of oil to the hot skillet.
- Add the garlic and scallions and sauté for about almost a minute.
- Add the eggplant and chili oil to the skillet and toss well.
- Season all with salt, stir to combine and cook for 6-8 minutes in order for the eggplant to absorb all the flavors.
- Serve hot garnished with more sliced scallions.
NOTE: As most of these spices add saltiness to the dish, use your discretion when it comes to seasoning to taste with salt and pepper.