07 March 2011

Spicy eggplant and pepper in black bean sauce

3 Asian eggplants
1 red pepper
1/4 cup chicken stock
2 tablespoons chili bean paste, I got mine at Whole Foods
2 tablespoons tamari soy sauce
2 tablespoons brown rice vinegar
1 tablespoon Mirin or any rice wine
2 teaspoons sugar
2 tablespoons peanut or vegetable oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon minced ginger
1 teaspoon ground red pepper
1 teaspoon cornstarch, dissolved in 1 tablespoon water
Cilantro, for garnish - scallions work well too

Slice each eggplant in half lengthwise, then slice each length into quarters. Similarly chop pepper into strips as well.

In a small bowl, mix together chicken stock, chili bean paste, soy sauce, rice vinegar, rice wine, and sugar. Set aside.

Dry roast eggplant in a pan until the pieces start turning brown. This helps in making the eggplant less absorbant to oil.

In a wok, heat oil. Add eggplants, red pepper and stir-fry until outsides become golden brown and insides begin to soften, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add garlic, ginger, and ground red pepper and stir fry for about 30 seconds. Pour in stock-sauce mixture and mix well. Allow sauce to simmer for 2 minutes and eggplant to absorb sauce. Stir in cornstarch mixture to thicken sauce. Remove from heat, plate, and garnish.

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