Eggplant In Garlic Sauce

2 tablespoons sherry
6 small chinese mushrooms
2 fresh green hot peppers
1 green bell pepper or sweet red pepper
2 cloves garlic
Seasoning Sauce
1 to 2 teaspoons hot sauce
1/2 tablespoon dark soy sauce
1/2 tablespoon light soy sauce
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon tomato sauce
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 tablespoons sherry
1 medium eggplant (1-1 1/4 pound)
2 teaspoons salt
3 tablespoons oil
1/2 cup broth

Rinse mushrooms, cover with warm water, and soak for 30-60 minutes or until soft. Cut off stems and leave whole. Save broth. Triangle-cut peppers. Mince garlic.

Prepare seasoning sauce: blend together the hot sauce, soy sauces, vinegar, sugar, 1 tablespoons sherry.

Trim off ends of eggplant and discard. Cut the eggplant into eighths lengthwise. Cut the slices into 1 1/2 to 2 inch cubes. Sprinkle with 2 teaspoons salt and place on cookie sheet, with paper towels and chopping block in top. Let stand for 30 minutes. Rinse, drain, and dry eggplant slices well.

Cooking Procedure: Place wok over high flame for 30 seconds. Add 3 tablespoons of oil, and heat for 20 seconds or until oil is very hot but not smoking. Add eggplant cubes; stir and press lightly to aid browning. Cook over a medium flame until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add garlic. Add mushrooms and peppers. Stir-fry until tender, about 1-2 minutes. Add 1/2 cup broth. Cook, stirring about 5 second. Add seasoning sauce. Cook over medium flame, stir-frying about 3-5 minutes, or until juices have thickened. Empty contents of wok into a serving dish. Serve hot, warm or cold.

Timing: This recipe can be kept warm if necessary, uncovered, in a preheated 225* oven for 5-7 minutes. Eggplant in garlic Sauce makes an excellent appetizer served cold or hot. It will keep, if refrigerated, for 5 days.

Tips: During the last minute of cooking, add 3/4 cup cooked and cooled white rice to the mixture. The bland rice absorbs some of the spicy sauce, which results in quite a pleasing combination. To make the recipe spicier or less spicy, increase or decrease the hot sauce or the hot peppers accordingly.

The purpose of salting the eggplant (or the zucchini) is to remove any bitter taste and to draw out excess moisture; the weighing down further aids the dehydration and minimized the amount of oil that is needed in the sautéing process.

When doubling this recipe, use a high flame throughout the entire cooking process. Increase fat to 5 tablespoons and broth to 3/4 cup.

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