- 2 medium Chinese eggplant (about 10 - 11 ounces)
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon minced ginger
- 1 green onion (spring onion, scallion) white and green parts, finely chopped
- 1 1/2 TB (4 1/2 tsp) dark soy sauce
- 1 1/2 TB (4 1/2 tsp) light soy sauce
- 1 TB Chinese red rice vinegar, balsamic vinegar or red wine vinegar
- 1 TB Chinese rice wine or dry sherry
- 1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 1/3 cup chicken broth
- 3 – 4 TB ground pork (no more than 1/4 cup)
- Black pepper, pinch
- 1/4 tsp cornstarch
- 1 TB vegetable or peanut oil for stir-frying
- 1 TB chili garlic sauce
- 1 tsp. cornstarch mixed with 1 TB water
2. Place the eggplant in the water and boil for 1 minute (start timing from the time the water returns to a boil). Drain the eggplant on paper towels.
3. Finely mince the garlic and ginger. Finely chop the green onion. In a small bowl, combine the sauce ingredients (the dark and light soy sauce, vinegar, rice wine or dry sherry, sugar and chicken broth) and set aside.
4. In another small bowl, use your fingers to mix the black pepper and cornstarch into the ground pork. (The black pepper adds a bit of extra flavor and a small amount of cornstarch helps keep the ground pork from sticking).
5. Heat the wok and add 1 tablespoon oil in the wok on medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add the garlic, ginger and green onion. Stir-fry for 10 seconds, then add the ground pork. Stir in the chili garlic sauce. Stir-fry until the pork turns white and is nearly cooked (about 1 minute), using a spatula to break the pork into small pieces.
6. Add the eggplant and stir for a minute to mix everything together. Give the sauce a quick re-stir and swirl it into the pan, stirring. Turn down the heat to low-medium (about 4 on the dial), cover and simmer for about 10 minutes, until the eggplant is tender.
7. Give the cornstarch and water mixture a quick restir and add it in the middle of the pan, stirring quickly to thicken. Mix the sauce with the other ingredients and serve hot.
Alternate cooking method: Instead of boiling the eggplant, you can stir-fry it before combining with the pork and other ingredients. Heat the wok and add 3 tablespoons oil. When the oil is very hot, add the eggplant slices. Stir-fry the eggplant for 2 – 3 minutes, until it begins to brown. Be sure to keep stirring the eggplant so that it doesn’t stick to the pan. Press down on the eggplant to remove excess oil. Remove and drain on paper towels.