Steamed Eggplant with Garlic Sauce
- SERVINGS: 4
This is a dish with Sichuan and Hunan roots. Customarily, the eggplant is deep-fried, then stir-fried. I've reduced the fat here by steaming the eggplant instead. The texture is a little bit different, but the flavors are still defined and intense.
- 1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons oyster sauce
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch dissolved in 1 tablespoon water
- 1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon Shao-Hsing wine or dry sherry
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 pound medium eggplants, peeled
- 1 1/2 teaspoons peanut oil
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable stock or water
- Combine all of the ingredients in a small bowl.
- Slice the eggplants lengthwise 1/2 inch thick, then cut the slices lengthwise into 1/2-inch strips. Put the eggplant on a heatproof plate and steam over boiling water until tender, 20 to 25 minutes. Carefully remove the plate and set aside.
- Set a wok over high heat for 30 seconds. Add the oil and stir to coat. When a wisp of white smoke appears, add the garlic and stir-fry until golden, about 10 seconds. Stir in the steamed eggplant. Add the stock and cook until the eggplant just falls apart, about 3 minutes.
- Make a well in the center of the wok, pushing the eggplant up the sides slightly. Stir the sauce and add it to the wok. Stir in the eggplant and cook until bubbling and thick, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a warmed bowl and serve.
Look to Italy for a straightforward, crisply tart dry white that won't compete with the garlicky eggplant. Consider Alois Lageder Pinot Grigio and Pieropan Soave.