The Joy Luck Club: Eggplant in Garlic Sauce
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
- 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.