The Joy Luck Club: Eggplant in Garlic Sauce
The focal point of The Joy Luck Club is the strength of women and family, and this spicy Sichuan dish, which is delicious either hot or cold, will keep your own family coming back to the table.
Yield: serves 4-6
- 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
- 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.
- 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.