Eggplant with Spicy Sauce
Meant to be eaten cold, this Sichuan dish, like much of the cooking of that northern province, is quite spicy.
Yield: serves 2-4
- 4 leaves napa cabbage
- 3 Asian eggplants, trimmed, cut crosswise into thirds, then quartered lengthwise
- 1 scallion, trimmed
- 1 (1/2"-thick) slice ginger, peeled and minced
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
- 1 tbsp. Japanese soy sauce
- 1 tsp. Chinese black vinegar
- 1 tsp. Japanese rice vinegar
- Pinch of sugar
- 1 tsp. Red Chile Oil, or more to taste
- 1 1⁄2 tsp. Asian sesame oil
- Line a steamer basket or collander with cabbage leaves and set over a pot of boiling water over high heat. Arrange eggplant in a single layer on cabbage, cover, and steam until eggplant is slightly wilted and just tender, with flesh a downy white and skin still mostly purple with a few brown spots, 4-6 minutes. Remove eggplant from steamer and set aside to cool. Discard cabbage leaves.
- Meanwhile, slice green part of scallion into medium rings and set aside, then mince white part and put in a medium bowl. Add ginger and garlic, then whisk in soy sauce, black vinegar, rice vinegar, sugar, red chile oil, and sesame oil. Add eggplant and toss to mix well. Transfer to a serving platter and garnish with scallion greens.