Hot and Sour Eggplant Salad

2 medium eggplant
2 teaspoons salt
1/4 cup sesame oil
1 teaspoon chile pepper flakes
6 tablespoons soy sauce
3 1/2 tablespoons rice wine
1 1/2 tablespoons worcestershire sauce or chinese black vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons ginger, minced fresh
2 tablespoons garlic, minced
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1/2 cup red bell pepper, diced
1 cup scallion greens, 1/4-inch-slices

1) Slice the eggplant lengthwise into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Sprinkle the slices with salt and let drain for 30 minutes. Rinse under cold running water and pat dry with paper towels.

2) Prepare dressing. Heat the 1/4 cup sesame oil in a skillet until very hot. Add the pepper flakes, cover the pan and remove it from the heat. Let it sit for 10 minutes, then add the soy sauce, rice wine, worcestershire sauce, sugar, ginger and garlic. Stir to dissolve the sugar.

3) Brush the eggplant slices with the sesame oil. Arrange the slices on a grill and cook until tender and deep golden brown on both
sides. Remove from the grill and cool.

4) Cut the slices into 1/4-inch dice and place in a bowl with the red pepper and scallions. Add the dressing and toss lightly to coat. Let the salad marinate for about 20 minutes. Serve at room temperature or chilled.




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