- 1 pound ground pork, preferably from the shoulder
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon sambal oelek or other Asian chile sauce
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- Six 8-ounce Asian eggplants, halved lengthwise
- 1 tablespoon peanut oil, plus more for brushing
- Kosher salt
- 2/3 cup chicken stock or low-sodium broth
- 1/4 cup dry sake
- 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon chile-bean sauce, such as Lee Kum Kee Toban Djan
- 3 scallions, minced, plus thinly sliced scallions, for garnish
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 1/2 tablespoons minced peeled fresh ginger
- Steamed rice, for serving
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
The cooked eggplant can be refrigerated overnight. Reheat gently before proceeding.