Saturday, December 4, 2010

Chinese Style Eggplant

I have a confession. As my blog roll indicates, I've been cheating on food blogs with fashion blogs. I guess I live vicariously through all the stylish bloggers out there (even my sister L has started one!). Sometimes I get lucky with a blog, and they also share recipes. This is what happened when Not Just Another Blonde in Beijing shared recipes from her cooking course in Beijing. I was very excited to try making fish flavored eggplant (no fish involved!) since I do love my eggplant!

Chinese Style Eggplant with Pork

I have to be honest. I love this recipe. Since I've made this dish for the first time over a month ago, I've probably made this another ten times! I even made a vegetarian version, replacing pork with tofu! This is reminiscent of my mom's stuffed eggplants that I love, but with less work!

Chinese Style Eggplant (鱼香茄子 - Fish Flavoured Eggplant)
Adapted from Not Just Another Blonde in Beijing.
While I closely followed the recipe the first time around, now I improvise slightly. I don't always add ginger because I'm lazy. I also really like the addition of lemongrass chili sauce which makes this dish extra spicy!

* oil
* 2-3 eggplants, sliced into 2-3" sections and quartered lengthwise
* ½ tsp salt, (or to taste)
* 2 Tbsp ground pork or firm tofu (cubed)
* 1 Tbsp ginger, minced
* 1 garlic clove, minced
* 1 tsp (or to taste) chili sauce, like sambal oelek or lemongrass chili sauce
* 2 Tbsp light soy sauce
* 1 Tbsp Chinese vinegar
* 1-2 Tbsp sugar
* 1 spring onion, sliced thinly
* 2 tsp sesame oil

In a work or frying pan, on medium-high heat, add a generous amount of oil (eggplants tend to stick).
When the oil is hot, add eggplant splices, until they becomes soft; set aside.
In the same pan, add a bit more oil.
Add the ground pork or tofu.
When the pork is cooked through (the tofu takes less time), add chili, ginger, garlic, and stir.
Add the soy sauce, vinegar and water if necessary.
Season with salt and sugar.
Add the eggplant pieces back into the sauce.
Taste and adjust seasoning with more salt and sugar if necessary.
Turn off heat, add sesame oil and green onion; mix in.

Eggplants Adding pork & chili sauce
Adding back eggplants and green onion
Eggplant slices and pork.

Chinese Style Eggplant with Pork
Chinese style eggplant with ground pork.

Every time I dig into a dish of these eggplants, I am happy. I love the soft pieces off eggplant that have absorbed the sauce. I also really enjoy the spicy pieces of meat or tofu. As well, I find the addition of Chinese vinegar really adds a distinctly Chinese flavour that I have never cooked with (I went out and bought the vinegar for this recipe). While my dad is Chinese, he was born and raised in Vietnam. I feel like I don't know authentic Chinese food that well and hope to learn more!

Stir Frying Tofu Making the tofu version
Chinese Style Eggplant with Tofu
Chinese style eggplant with tofu.

1 comment:

Gastronomer said...

This dish looks so very good, Nina! A shame my friend Vern doesn't like eggplants. What a weirdo!

Have you nthis fashion/food blog: Best of all, she's Viet!