Sunday, November 25, 2007

SPICY EGGPLANT -- Deborah Wolf (Houston, Texas)

There is a local restaurant--China Lilly's--that has this on their menu but of course they won't give you the recipe. I described it on Chef Deb's site on Vegsource and after experimenting a bit she came up with this recipe. It's better than China Lilly's.

2 Tbs. flour
2 Tbs. cornstarch

½ cup vegetable broth
1/3 cup soy sauce
¼ cup hoisin sauce
2 Tbs. red chili oil
2 Tbs. red wine vinegar
1 ½ Tbs. sesame oil

To thicken sauce:
2 Tbs. cornstarch
2 Tbs. water

Ingredients for stir fry:
2 pounds Japanese eggplant (about 5)*
5 dried chilies (buy in Chinese grocery--Chow's on University Ave.)
6 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
½ to 1 inch piece ginger, peeled and minced
1 or 2 bunches scallions, shredded or chopped

2 Tbs. oil for stir fry plus extra in spray bottle**
Vegetable oil spray, such as Pam
Hot Cooked Brown Rice

Cut eggplant into strips ½ inch thick by 1 ½ inch long. Put into a bag with coating ingredients and shake well. Spray hot wok or frying pan with Pam and add 2 Tbs. oil.*** Add eggplant, stir immediately so as much eggplant as possible will be coated with a bit of oil. Spray eggplant that was not coated with oil and stir fry for a few minutes until tender and a bit brown. Remove eggplant from pan and add remaining stir fry ingredients (you may need to add a bit of oil to the pan), stir fry for about a minute, add sauce ingredients, and cornstarch and water, stir until sauce is thickened; return eggplant to pan. Stir fry until eggplant is heated through and coated with sauce. Serve with rice.

*If using regular eggplant, peel, cut into strips, salt heavily and let sit 30 minutes. Rinse eggplant and pat it dry before proceeding with recipe.

**I keep oil in a spray bottle for use in the kitchen and it has been a valuable kitchen tool.

***The last time I made this recipe I laid all the coated eggplant on a cookie sheet and sprayed it with oil, turned it over and sprayed it again. I then fried it in my Wok with no added oil and it browned beautifully. I used far less oil this way. This recipe is absolutely fabulous; we are now addicted to this dish.

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