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Ma Po Eggplant in Garlic Sauce
© Madeleine Hill

Ma Po Eggplant in Garlic Sauce

  • ACTIVE: 45 MIN
  • SERVINGS: 6 to 8 servings

Spicy, stir-fried pork with ginger and garlic is a deliciously piquant foil for silky broiled eggplant in Andrew Zimmern’s Ma Po Eggplant.

  1. 1 pound ground pork, preferably from the shoulder
  2. 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  3. 1 tablespoon sambal oelek or other Asian chile sauce
  4. 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  5. 1/4 cup soy sauce
  6. Six 8-ounce Asian eggplants, halved lengthwise
  7. 1 tablespoon peanut oil, plus more for brushing
  8. Kosher salt
  9. 2/3 cup chicken stock or low-sodium broth
  10. 1/4 cup dry sake
  11. 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
  12. 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  13. 1 teaspoon chile-bean sauce, such as Lee Kum Kee Toban Djan
  14. 3 scallions, minced, plus thinly sliced scallions, for garnish
  15. 4 garlic cloves, minced
  16. 1 1/2 tablespoons minced peeled fresh ginger
  17. Steamed rice, for serving
  1. In a large bowl, mix the pork with the vinegar, sambal oelek, cornstarch and 1 tablespoon of the soy sauce. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to 8 hours.
  2. Preheat the broiler and position the rack 8 inches from the heat. Brush the eggplants with peanut oil and season with salt. Arrange the eggplants cut side down on a rimmed baking sheet and broil for 12 to 15 minutes, turning once, until lightly charred and tender.
  3. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk the chicken stock with the sake, sugar, sesame oil, chile bean paste and remaining 3 tablespoons of soy sauce. In a wok or large skillet, heat the 1 tablespoon of peanut oil until shimmering. Add the minced scallions, garlic and ginger and stir-fry over high heat until fragrant, 1 minute. Add the pork and stir-fry until no pink remains, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the chicken stock mixture and bring to a boil. Simmer over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened, about 3 minutes.
  4. Arrange the eggplants cut side up on a platter and spoon the pork on top. Garnish with thinly sliced scallions and serve with steamed rice.
Make Ahead The cooked eggplant can be refrigerated overnight. Reheat gently before proceeding.