SERVES 4 - 6
This Sichuan-style dish is one of the few non-Cantonese recipes in Grace Young's book, The Wisdom of the Chinese Kitchen: Classic Family Recipes for Celebration and Healing.
3 medium Chinese eggplant, about 1 lb.
2 tbsp. chili-garlic sauce
2 tbsp. thin soy sauce
2 tbsp. Chinese red rice vinegar
2 tbsp. shao hsing (rice wine)
1 tbsp. sugar
7 tbsp. vegetable oil
1/4 cup ground pork butt
2 tbsp. finely minced garlic
2 tbsp. finely minced ginger
1/2 cup chopped scallions
1. Trim the stem and ends from the eggplant and cut eggplant into 1/2'' x 2 1/2'' strips. In a small bowl, combine chili-garlic sauce, soy sauce, vinegar, rice wine, sugar, and 2/3 cup cold water.
2. Heat a 14'' flat-bottomed wok or skillet over high heat until hot but not smoking. Add 3 tbsp. oil and half the eggplant and stir-fry 2 minutes, or until some of the eggplant begins to brown and soften. Transfer eggplant to a plate. Repeat with remaining eggplant and 3 tbsp. oil, transferring to the plate with first batch. Add remaining 1 tbsp. oil, pork, garlic, and ginger, and stir-fry about 1 minute, or until golden and fragrant. Return the eggplant to the wok. Restir the chili sauce mixture and swirl into the wok. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium, cover, and cook 5-8 minutes or until eggplant is just tender. Stir in scallions and serve immediately.