Spicy Asian Eggplant

1 each eggplant, large
1 tablespoon garlic, finely minced
1 tablespoon ginger, finely minced
1/4 cup thinly cut green and white scallion rings
1/4 teaspoon red chile flakes
3 tablespoons soy sauce
3 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
1 tablespoon unseasoned japanese rice vinegar
1 tablespoon hot water
2 tablespoons peanut oil
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
scallion greens, sliced thin, for garnish

Bake the eggplant in the middle of a preheated 475°F oven until it gives easily when pressed, 20-40 minutes depending on size. For even cooking, turn it over midway through baking. Remove to a plate and slit lengthwise to cool.

Discard the peel. Cut the flesh into cubes and purée in a food processor along with any baking juices. Combine aromatics (garlic, ginger, scallion rings, and chile flakes) in a dish. Combine soy sauce, sugar, rice vinegar, and hot water in a bowl.

Heat a wok or heavy skillet over high heat until a bead of water evaporates on contact. Reduce heat to medium, then add peanut oil; swirl to glaze the pan. When oil is hot, add aromatic herbs. Stir gently until fully fragrant, about 30 seconds, adding more oil if needed. Stir together bowl of liquids; add to pan; stir to blend. Bring mixture to a simmer. Scrape eggplant into pan; stir well to combine.

Remove from heat. Stir in sesame oil.

Serve hot, tepid, or at room temperature, garnished with a sprinkling of scallion. Leftovers keep nicely in the refrigerator for up to a week.



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