Chinese style Eggplant in Sweet and Spicy Sauce…completes the Chinese trilogy...Gong Xi Fa Cai!! J
Chinese style Eggplant in Sweet and Spicy Garlic Sauce
- Japanese Eggplants, cut into 3 inch by ½ inch long batons/wedges, 3 (or 1 large round Eggplant)
- Dried Red chilies, 2-3, broken into 2-3 pieces each, 1-2
- Fresh Red chili, finely chopped, 1-2
- Garlic, finely chopped, 3-4 cloves
- Shaoxing rice wine, 1 ½ tsp (you can substitute with equal amount of vinegar)
- Vinegar, 1 ½ tsp (preferably Chinese black vinegar, you can substitute with either balsamic vinegar or even regular white vinegar)
- Soy sauce, 1 tbsp
- Honey, 1 ½ - 2 tsp or brown sugar
- Spring onions/Scallions, finely chopped, 1-2, (use both white and green portion)
- Oil, 2tbsp + ½ tbsp
If using the large round eggplant, sprinkle the batons with salt, mix well and leave to drain in a colander for about half an hour.
Heat a wok or a large pan over high heat. I prefer using a large pan as so that I can cook eggplants in a single layer without tossing around too much. If using a wok or a smaller pan you may have to fry in batches.
Once the pan is hot, pour in 2 tbsp oil and swirl around to coat the base.
Drop in the eggplants and fry for about two minutes on each side – till eggplant is nice and golden and soft without losing its shape – don’t stir or toss around too much. Remove the eggplants and keep aside.
In the same pan, add in ½ tbsp oil. Add in the broken dried red chilies and fry for 4-5 seconds. Add in the garlic and the fresh red chilies (keep some aside for garnishing later)
When the garlic starts to change colour, add in the spring onions (keep a few greens aside for garnishing later).
Sauté for a couple of minutes and add in the Shaoxing rice wine, vinegar, soy sauce and honey/sugar. Mix well and add in the eggplant.
Toss around and let the sauce coat the eggplant well.
Serve immediately topped with the spring onions and red chilies kept aside.
- You can deep fry the eggplant – needless to say deep frying enhances the taste J
- Add in minced ginger along with the garlic.
- Skip the honey though it gives a nice glaze and balances the flavor.
- Use shallots instead of spring onions.
- Skip the vinegar and Shaoxing wine and use 1 tbsp chili bean paste or black bean paste.
- Make it saucier by adding some veg or chicken broth along with 1 tsp of corn starch mixed with 1 tbsp of cold water. Add these along with the rest of the sauces. Once everything comes to a boil and the mix thickens up, add in the fried eggplant.