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Quick-Braised Eggplant with Coconut Milk and Scallions

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Charles Phan created this quick wok-braised dish by chance when he ran out of cooking space on his restaurant grill. Adding unsweetened coconut milk (a staple in southern Vietnam) to the eggplant after it's stir-fried keeps the texture silky.

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  1. 1/4 cup canola oil
  2. 1 medium onion, quartered lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise
  3. 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  4. 1 1/4 pounds Asian or Italian eggplants (about 4), cut into 3-by-1/2-inch pieces
  5. 1/4 cup Chinese cooking wine, sake or water
  6. 1/2 cup Vietnamese Stir-fry Sauce
  7. 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons water
  8. 1/4 cup unsweetened coconut milk, stirred just before using
  9. 2 teaspoons Asian chili paste
  10. 4 large scallions, white and tender green parts only, cut into 3/4-inch lengths
  1. Heat the canola oil in a large skillet or a wok until small puffs of smoke begin to appear. Add the onion and garlic and stir-fry over high heat until the onion is just crisp-tender, about 1 minute. Add the eggplant and stir-fry until browned in spots and just tender, about 5 minutes. Add the Chinese cooking wine and cook until nearly evaporated, about 1 minute. Add the Vietnamese Stir-fry Sauce, water, coconut milk and chili paste. Cook over high heat, stirring occasionally, until the eggplant is very tender and the sauce is slightly reduced, about 5 minutes longer. Add the scallions and cook for 30 seconds. Serve the eggplant hot.
Make Ahead The eggplant can be refrigerated overnight. Reheat gently before serving. Serve With Steamed jasmine rice.
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