Szechuan Spicy Eggplant

(4 votes)

steamed rice, preferably made with long-grain rice
3 pounds (2 to 3 large Mediterranean or 12 small Asian) eggplant, cut into 3/4-inch pieces
1-1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1-1/2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
5 scallions, green and white parts, finely chopped
5 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups vegetable broth, vegetable bouillon, or canned broth
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1-1/2 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 tablespoon Asian dark sesame oil
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon Chinese chile paste with garlic or 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
sesame seeds, for garnish

If desired, place the eggplant in a colander and sprinkle with 2 teaspoons salt. Let stand for at least 20 minutes or up to 1 hour. Rinse well under cold water and pat completely dry with paper towels.

Heat a large (12-inch) nonstick skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Add the oil and heat until the oil is hot. Add the eggplant, ginger, scallions, and garlic. Stir-fry until well-mixed, about 1 minute.

Stir in the broth, soy sauce, vinegar, sesame oil, sugar, and chile paste and bring to a boil. Cook, stirring often, until the eggplant is very tender and the sauce is thickened, about 10 minutes. Season with additional salt, to taste.

Spoon the rice into individual soup bowls and top with the eggplant and sauce. Sprinkle with the sesame seeds and serve immediately.

Makes 4 to 6 servings

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