Spicy Garlic Eggplant, my way
I just love Chinese food – it can be as rich or as light as you choose. It is also very vegetarian-, dairy- and gluten-free “friendly” – the possibilities are endless. One of John’s favourites is this dish, which he had in Montreal visiting Jean and Albert. It is ridiculously easy, and quick to make.
Fish sauce is available at Asian markets. It is an essential ingredient in Thai cuisine, and adds a little deliciousness to this one. It is sort of the Asian equivalent to anchovies, it lends a nice flavour but the end result is not “fishy”. While it is not mandatory to include it in this recipe, it is a nice addition.
2 tbsp. canola oil
2 large Chinese (some call them Japanese) eggplants, sliced (not too thinly, about 1/4″)
1/2 cup broth (veg or chicken)
1-1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
1 tsp. cornstarch
1-1/2 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. fish sauce (Vietnamese)
2 tbsp. soy sauce
2 tbsp. oyster sauce
1 tsp. (or to taste) Asian garlic chili sauce (or sambal oelek) – use judiciously, it is HOT
2-3 green onions, sliced
1/3 cup chopped garlic (yes, you read that right – stop clutching your pearls and just do it)
Heat oil in pan over high heat until hot, add eggplant slices and 1/2 cup of water. Cover and let steam (adding water as necessary, don’t let it dry out completely or the eggplant will stick onto the pan) until eggplant is soft, 8-10 minutes or so.
While eggplant is cooking, mix all ingredients except garlic and onion. When eggplant is nice and soft, add garlic and onion and stir for a minute or so to “mellow” their flavours just a little bit. Add sauce ingredients and cook over medium heat, stirring gently (eggplant will start to break apart, but that is okay), until sauce is thickened.
Serve as a side veg, or over rice, or as part of an Asian-style feast – good with teriyaki salmon or chicken, and any other dish you like 🙂