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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1/4 cup canola oil
1 medium onion, quartered lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 1/4 pounds Asian or Italian eggplants (about 4), cut into 3-by-1/2-inch pieces
1/4 cup unsweetened coconut milk, stirred just before using
2 teaspoons Asian chili paste
4 large scallions, white and tender green parts only, cut into 3/4-inch lengths
How to Make It
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.
The eggplant can be refrigerated overnight. Reheat gently before serving.
Steamed jasmine rice.
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