Eggplant in Garlic Sauce (version II)
2 medium eggplant
Peel eggplant, cut off ends, and slice lengthwise into 1/2-inch slices. Cut slices into 1/2-inch strips, then cut across into 2-inch pieces.
Vegetable oil, for frying (if preferred, eggplant can also be steamed)
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon chopped fresh ginger
1 tablespoon vegetarian oyster sauce
1 tablespoon rice wine (sake or other white wine could be used)
2 tablespoons cornstarch mixed with 1 tablespoon water
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 cup chopped green onions, divided use
1/2 teaspoon chile flakes
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil (see Note)
Heat oil in wok or large pot over medium heat. Add eggplant in batches and fry until soft and golden brown. Remove eggplant from oil and drain on paper towels, removing as much oil as possible. (Alternatively, eggplant can be steamed instead of fried, making this dish almost fat-free.)
For Sauce: In medium-sized bowl, mix soy sauce, sugar, vinegar, ginger, oyster sauce and rice wine. Stir until sugar is dissolved and set aside.
For Cornstarch Slurry: Mix cornstarch with water until smooth. If needed, add a bit more water. Set aside. For Aromatics:: Combine garlic, 2/3 of the green onions, chile flakes and sesame oil in a bowl. Line up all ingredients next to the stovetop. Set a wok (or large skillet) over high heat. When hot, quickly add the garlic and green onion mixture and stir; immediately add Sauce and bring to a boil. Stir the cornstarch slurry and add, stirring continuously until sauce has thickened. Add eggplant and stir-fry until the eggplant is evenly incorporated into the sauce. Remove from heat, garnish with remaining green onions, and serve.
Makes 4-6 servings.
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