Steamed Eggplant with Garlic Sauce

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1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons dark soy sauce
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon cornstarch dissolved in 1 tablespoon water
1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar
1/2 teaspoon shao-hsing wine or dry sherry
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 pound medium eggplants, peeled
1 1/2 teaspoons peanut oil
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable stock or water

1. Make the sauce: Combine all of the ingredients in a small bowl.

2. Slice the eggplants lengthwise 1/2 inch thick, then cut the slices lengthwise into 1/2 -inch strips. Put the eggplant on a heatproof plate and steam over boiling water until tender, 20 to 25 minutes. Carefully remove the plate and set aside.

3. Set a wok over high heat for 30 seconds. Add the oil and stir to coat. When a wisp of white smoke appears, add the garlic and stir-fry until golden, about 10 seconds. Stir in the steamed eggplant. Add the stock and cook until the eggplant just falls apart, about 3 minutes.

4. Make a well in the center of the wok, pushing the eggplant up the sides slightly. Stir the sauce and add it to the wok. Stir in the eggplant and cook until bubbling and thick, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a warmed bowl and serve

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