Chinese eggplant recipe–Szechuan eggplants(Yu Xiang Eggplant) is often listed as Chinese eggplant in hot garlic sauce.
One of the representatives of Sichuan cuisine is Sichuan eggplant, or Yu Xiang Qie Zi(鱼香茄子in Chinese). “鱼香” actually means Fish-Fragrant, is a kind of flavor which is quite famous in Sichuan dishes. Besides Sichuan eggplant, there is the famous Yu Xiang Rou Si(鱼香肉丝 or fish-fragrant shredded pork). Some menu may refer this dish to Eggplants in Chinese hot garlic sauce.
This unique fish fragrant sauce is made with pickled red pepper, garlic, ginger, scallions, salt, soy sauce and vinegar. It is firstly used to cook fishes. So this dish has nothing to do with fish meat. The best pepper used should be Sichuan pickled red pepper. I have written a recipe about how to make it at home, if you are interested about this, please check pickled vegetables. Or if the pickled red pepper is really hard to find, you can replace it with Thai red pepper. Although Sichuan peppercorn is commonly used in many Sichuan dishes, we do not need it for the fish fragrant series. I see many versions call for Sichuan peppercorn in this recipe. However, you may develop your own recipe and just enjoy the process of cooking.
In restaurants, eggplants are usually deep-fried firstly before stir fry with seasonings. However homemade version usually use pan-frying. In order to reduce the oil absorbed during the pan-frying process and fasten the process, we should soak the eggplant strips in salty water for around 15 minutes.
- 2 Asian long eggplants
- 3 pickled red pepper , or replace with fresh Thai red peppers, finely chopped
- 1 tbsp. broad bean paste , Doubanjiang
- 2 garlic cloves , chopped
- 1 tbsp. chopped ginger
- 2 green onions , white part and green part separately chopped
- coriander for decoration
- 2 tbsp. vegetable cooking oil
- 1 tsp. salt for soaking
- 1 tbsp. light soy sauce
- 1 tbsp. black vinegar
- 1 tbsp. cooking wine
- 2 tsp. cornstarch
- 1 tsp. sugar
- 1 tbsp. water
- Salt as needed
Roll cut washed eggplants into long strips (try to keep some skin on each one). Then soak the eggplant strips in salty water for around 15 minutes. Move out and drain.
Prepare a bowl; mix all the ingredients for stir fry sauce. Then set aside.
Heat up 2 tablespoons of oil in wok (comparing with other ingredients, eggplants need more oil) until you can see the waves.
Add eggplants in and stir-fry until soft. Firstly the eggplants will absorb almost all the oils in the wok and then return some back after 2 or 3 minutes.
Move the eggplants out or to one side of the wok; add garlic, chopped peppers, green onion white part and ginger to stir-fry for the aroma. Add doubanjiang to continue cooking for 1 minute for red oil. Then mix all the content in wok.
Stir in the sauce. Mix well and make sure the eggplants are well coated.
Move from wok, sprinkle chopped green onion and coriander leaves.
Since both doubanjiang and soy sauce contains salt. So spare your salt.