I made this dish when I was under the weather not too long ago. With the medicine, coughing and stuffy nose and all, my taste bud went haywire. No mood to cook or appetite to eat anything except for rice porridge and soup. There were 2 eggplants in the vegetable compartment and it is going soft and wrinkles on me. I always have this habit of buying egg plant but never cook them so it always end up in the garbage bin but I am not going to let that happen this time.
Since I like eggplant a lot I convinced myself to cook it and 20 minutes later a plate of aromatic, spicy and sweet dish to have it with my porridge. This is exactly what I needed to clear up my nose and head. I made this dish with hot bean paste which is commonly used in Szechuan cooking. You can get it any Asian store and some supermarket even carries it.
2 Chinese/Japanese eggplant – cut into 1” length and 1” wide
4 oz ground meat (I used chicken)
3 cloves garlic – finely chopped
1 tbsp chopped ginger
2 tbsp hot bean paste
2 spring onions – cut small
1/2 tsp sesame oil
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp black Chinese vinegar
3/4 cup chicken broth or water
1 tsp sugar
3/4 tsp cornstarch
1. Combined all the sauce ingredients and set it aside.
2. Heat a wok or a large skillet over high heat. Add in 3 tbsp of oil; swirl around to coat on all side of the wok. Add in the eggplant, let it seared one side until lightly brown and then turn it over. Do the same to the other side. Toss and turn it for a few time and the remove it and set it aside.
3. In the same wok, add in a tbsp of oil; add in the ginger and garlic. Stir fry until fragrant and lightly brown. Add in the ground meat, break the meat up, and stir fry it until it changes to opaque color.
4. Add in the hot bean paste, give it a quick stir for 20 seconds, add in the sauce and let it cook for a minute. Once sauce thickens, add in the eggplants. Stir and toss it around and continue to cook until eggplants soften and absorbed most of the sauce.
5. Check seasonings, see if it needs any salt and lastly add in the green onions and sesame oil. Give it a few toss and dish out. Serve with warm rice.