Sichuan Fried Eggplant
1 pound eggplant
Cut the eggplant into thin 1-1/2-inch by 3-inch slices. Do not peel them. For the batter mix the flour, water, and salt together in a small bowl, then strain through a fine sieve. Let rest for about 20 minutes.
2 cups peanut oil, for deep-frying
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2/3 cup water
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon peanut oil
3 tablespoons finely chopped scallions
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh ginger
2 teaspoons chili bean sauce
2/3 cup stock
2 tablespoons rice wine or dry sherry
1 tablespoon chinese black vinegar OR cider vinegar
3 tablespoons tomato paste
2 teaspoon sugar
2 tablespoons dark soy sauce
1 tablespoon cornstarch, mixed with 1 tablespoon water
For the sauce, heat a wok or large frying-pan until hot and add the 1 tablespoon of oil. Put in the scallions, ginger, and chili bean sauce and stir-fry for 30 seconds. Then add the stock, rice wine, vinegar, tomato paste, sugar, and soy sauce and continue to cook for 1 minute. Thicken the sauce with the blended cornstarch and cook another minute. Set aside.
Heat the oil in a deep-fat fryer or large wok until quite hot. Dip the slices of eggplant into the batter, let the excess batter drip off, then deep-fry. You may have to do this in several batches. Remove from the oil with a slotted spoon and drain well on paper towel. Arrange the eggplant slices on a serving platter, pour the sauce over and serve.
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