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Saturday, January 9, 2010

Chili Garlic Eggplant with Shredded Bamboo Shoots

I love eggplant but I always have such a hard time cooking it. I've only cooked with the Japanese eggplants, the long, thin kind, and the one time I attempted Eggplant Parmesan using regular eggplants, I had to throw away the dish because it was so awful. With the Japanese eggplants, I like to steam them for a couple of minutes so that they soften but still maintain their shape. If I don't do this, I find that the eggplant never gets soft enough for my taste. I added shredded chili bamboo shoots because I had some in my fridge and I thought the chili bamboo shoots would go nicely with the chili sauce for the eggplant.

The jar of chili bamboo shoots I used.

A close up of the bamboo shoots.

Chili Garlic Eggplant with Shredded Bamboo Shoots

1lb Japanese eggplants
1/2 cup chili bamboo shoots
1 tablespoon oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
1" knob of ginger, cut into tiny matchsticks
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/8 cup water

1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon mirin
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon hot bean sauce

1. Place a steaming rack inside a wok or deep pot and fill with water to 3" below top of steaming rack. Bring to boil.
2. Cut eggplants into 3" long wedges and place inside a heatproof plate.
3. When water in wok boils, place plate with eggplant onto steaming rack and cover. Steam until eggplant is tender (a chopstick can easily be pierced through the skin) but still maintain their shape. Remove from wok.
4. Heat oil in a pan. Add minced garlic and ginger and stir fry until fragrant.
5. Add eggplant and stir fry for a minute.
6. Mix sauce ingredients together and add to pan.
7. Stir eggplant unti fully coated with sauce.
8. Add bamboo shoots and 1 teaspoon of oil from jar and mix until incorporated throughout.
9. Stir together cornstarch and water until cornstarch is dissolved and pour into pan.
10. Mix eggplant quickly until cornstarch slurry is absorbed and mixture has thickened and taken on a glossy appearance.
11. Serve and enjoy!

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