It's been a long while since I did a Foodie Adventures post! I guess I haven't been making anything interesting lately, but I thought I'd post this recent dinner that I made for Mr. Artist and I. It was my second time making Chinese eggplant, a.k.a aubergine. I've only recently become enamored with this purple vegetable. My mom rarely made eggplant at home, so it was only once I started eating over at Mr. Artist's house that I became introduced to this delicious plant.
Eggplant can be made in a variety of ways, but a common way to eat it in Chinese cooking is by steaming. Steaming eggplant is a very quick and healthy way to eat it and the resulting soft texture makes eggplant perfect for soaking up any variety of sauce you can think of.
This particular dish probably took me about 45 minutes to make and was enough to serve 2 with lunch leftovers.
To make this dish, you'll need:
- 4 medium Chinese eggplants, chopped into finger length pieces - be sure to use the long, thin eggplants, not the gourd shaped ones
- 1/2 pack of medium-firm tofu, chopped into bite-size pieces
- 1 pack of pork loin, chopped into bite-size pieces
- 2 stalks of green onion, coarsely chopped
- 1/3 cup cornstarch
- salt and pepper
- 1 tsp basil (preferably fresh)
- 1 tsp cilantro (preferably fresh)
- 1 tbsp Chinese garlic chili paste
- 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
- 1 tbsp soy sauce, to taste
- 2 tbsp cooking oil
Wash and chop the eggplants. In a large bowl, submerge the eggplant in generously salted water. Put aside for 5 minutes. The salt will help the eggplant absorb the sauce and will also prevent it from changing color.
In a wide, flat bowl, combine the cornstarch, basil, and cilantro. Add in a pinch each of salt and pepper and stir the dry mixture to combine; this mixture will be the dry breading for the pork. In a medium-high heat pan, add 1 tbsp oil then take a piece of pork at a time and cover it with the cornstarch mixture before adding to the pan. Cook until golden brown and cooked through, about 5-10 minutes.
Drain the eggplant and arrange into a steamer. Steam the eggplant for 10 minutes or until the texture is soft enough for a fork to easily poke through.
Once finished, put on a wok to medium-high heat. Add the remaining cooking oil and the garlic. Stir for 30 seconds and then toss in the eggplant and tofu. Add soy sauce, garlic chili paste and stir to coat. Cook for another 2 minutes. Garnish with the green onion and serve alongside the pork and steamed rice.
If you have any yummy eggplant recipes you'd like to share, email them to me at email@example.com or link to them in the comments!