5 Asian eggplants or 1-1.5 italian eggplants, about 2 pounds
3 tablespoons safflower oil
1 tablespoon sesame oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 green onions, white and green parts, sliced on a diagonal
1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and minced
3 garlic cloves, minced (or 3-4 garlic scapes, minced)
1 fresh red chile, sliced
1/2 cup vegetable broth
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds, for garnish (optional)
Thai basil (italian basil also works) and/or fresh cilantro leaves, for garnish
Cut the eggplants in 1/2 lengthwise and then slice crosswise into wedges, no more than 1-inch wide (note: if using italian eggplants, you can also dice your eggplant in 1-inch cubes).
Heat a wok or large skillet over medium-high flame and add the oils; tilt the pan to coat all sides. When you see a slight smoke, add a layer of eggplant, stir-fry until seared and sticky, about 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Remove the eggplant to a side platter and cook the remaining eggplant in same manner, adding more oil, if needed.
After all the eggplant is out of the pan, add the green onions, ginger, garlic, and chile; stir-fry for a minute until fragrant. Add the broth. In a small bowl, mix the soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, and cornstarch until the sugar and cornstarch are dissolved. Pour the soy sauce mixture into the wok and cook another minute, until the sauce has thickened. Put the eggplant back in the pan, tossing quickly, until the sauce is absorbed. Garnish with sesame seeds, Thai basil, and cilantro and serve.
Pairs Well With
FEATURING: Eggplants, green onions, garlic or garlic scapes, and thai basil.
I love Szechuan eggplant and this recipe is pretty darn good, if not better, than when I order it in a restaurant. Usually, I would use asian eggplants (long and thin) for this dish but I often use italian eggplants too and I find the dish is just as delicious. Serve over rice and feel free to accompany this meal with your favourite asian dish (optional). Top with thai or italian basil.