How to Make the Ultimate Umami-Bomb Vegetarian Demi-Glace
1/2 pound ground pork
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon dry sherry or rice wine
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon chili-bean sauce
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 pounds Asian eggplants, cut into 3/4-inch dice
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons cornstarch mixed with 2 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon Asian sesame oil
2 teaspoons sesame seeds, toasted
2 scallions, white and light green parts only, finely chopped
In a bowl, mix the pork with 1 tablespoon of the soy sauce and the sherry.
2. In a wok, heat the vegetable oil until smoking. Add the chili-bean sauce, garlic, ginger and salt and cook over high heat until fragrant, about 20 seconds. Add the pork and stir-fry until browned, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the eggplant and stir-fry until it begins to soften, about 3 minutes. Add the sugar and the remaining 1 tablespoon of soy sauce and cook, stirring, for about 30 seconds.
Stir in the broth, cover and cook over moderate heat until the eggplant is tender, about 10 minutes. Add the vinegar and cornstarch mixture and stir until the sauce thickens, about 15 seconds. Drizzle the sesame oil over the eggplant and transfer to a serving platter. Garnish with the toasted sesame seeds and scallions and serve.