I wanted eggplant in garlic sauce. But I didn’t want to go out, and we can’t get good takeout delivery in my neighborhood. (Unless you know something I don’t know fellow near-Eastside Indy dwellers.) I went online for inspiration and found this Sichuan Eggplant from Appetite for China.
Of course, I didn’t have all of the ingredients in my pantry. Still not wanting to go out, I would have to figure out some substitutions. To be honest with you, this is one of my favorite parts of cooking. Behind the eating. And making others happy. And the compliments.
Making substitutions also allowed me to choose gluten-free and refined sugar-free ingredients. And it gave me some small satisfaction to use what I had on hand. If you don’t have the ingredients listed below, I encourage you to make your own substitutions. Let me know how it turns out.
Eggplant in Spicy Garlic Sauce
3/4 lb. eggplant
1 T. chicken stock
1 T. red curry paste
1 T. tamari or soy sauce
1 T. balsamic vinegar
2 t. cooking rice wine
1 t. honey
1/2 t. red pepper flakes, or to taste
1/2 t. cornstarch
1 T. vegetable oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2-inch piece ginger, minced
Thinly sliced green onions, if desired
Peel and seed (if desired) eggplant and cut into 1-inch cubes. (I used a thick-skinned Italian eggplant, and I prefer to remove both the skin and seeds. For Asian eggplants, I would skip this step and simply cube it.) Set aside.
To make the sauce, combine chicken stock, red curry paste, tamari sauce, balsamic vinegar, rice wine, honey, red pepper flakes, and cornstarch in a small bowl. Stir and set aside.
Heat wok or non-stick skillet over high heat, then add oil and swirl the pan so that the bottom and sides are coated. Add cubed eggplant and stir-fry until golden-brown, approximately 2-3 minutes. Add the garlic and ginger and cook for another 30 seconds. Pour the sauce mixture in the pan and stir to coat the eggplant. Cook for another 3-4 minutes or until sauce thickens.
Serve eggplant over rice and garnish with sliced green onions, if desired.
Makes 2 servings (or 1 large serving)
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