This is a famous Szechuanese dish which although curiously named, uses no fish and is in fact a vegetarian dish. Rarely will you taste eggplant elevated to this level and the best thing is it literally takes minutes to make. If you are desperate for meat, you can add a bit of minced chicken or pork.
4 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 medium eggplants, cut into 5 x 2 x 2 cm batons
2 cloves garlic chopped OR crushed
2 tablespoon chilli bean paste (Tobanjiang – found easily in most supermarkets or Asian grocers)
1 heaped tablespoon finely shredded ginger
4 spring onions, white and green, sliced 3cm batons
Coriander sprigs for garnish
1 tablespoon light soy
1 tablespoon Chinese black vinegar (Chingkiang vinegar)
1 tablespoon Shaoxin rice wine
2 teaspoons cornflour
1 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon water
Salt to taste
Whisk all the sauce ingredients in small mixing bowl.
Combine 3 tablespoons of the oil and eggplants in a wok or large non-stick frypan and stir fry until tender. Transfer eggplants to a large bowl and set aside.
In the same pan, combine the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil with the garlic and sauté until golden and fragrant. Immediately add the chilli bean paste, eggplant and prepared sauce mixture and cook until the sauce has thickened – about 5 seconds. Serve immediately with steamed Jasmine rice and garnish with coriander.
Create this month’s stir fry with these great items: