Spicy Sichuan Eggplant

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  • 1 1/2 pounds Asian eggplant
  • 1/4 cup chicken stock or vegetable stock
  • 2 tablespoons chili bean paste
  • 2 tablespoons dark soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons dark rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon yellow rice wine
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons peanut or vegetable oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon minced ginger
  • 2 teaspoons Sichuan peppercorn, or 1 teaspoon ground Sichuan pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch, dissolved in 1 tablespoon water
  • Scallions, thinly sliced, for garnish

Slice each eggplant in half lengthwise, then slice each length into quarters.

In a small bowl, mix together chicken stock, chili bean paste, soy sauce, rice vinegar, rice wine, and sugar. Set aside.

In a wok, heat oil until just smoking. Add eggplant and stir-fry until outside become golden brown and insides begin to soften, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add garlic, ginger, and Sichuan peppercorns and stir-fry until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Pour in stock-sauce mixture and mix well. Allow sauce to simmer for 2 minutes and eggplant to absorb sauce. Stir in cornstarch mixture to thicken sauce. Remove from heat, plate, and garnish with scallions.

Source: Appetite for China.

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