Eggplant Szechwan Style

6 chinese eggplants (about 1 1/2 pounds)
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 cup broth
5 tablespoons peanut or corn oil, or more if needed
2 teaspoons ginger, fresh, peeled and grated
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon dried red chile flakes
1/4 cup water chestnut, peeled and chopped (preferably fresh)
3 scallions, trimmed and chopped
1-1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon asian sesame oil
1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds, for garnish

Cut eggplant into 1/2-inch wide by 2-inch long strips. Mix together soy sauce, sugar and broth. Set aside.

Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a wide, flat skillet. When hot, add half of the eggplant. Sauté, stirring constantly until seared and wilted, about 5 minutes. Remove to a plate. Cook remaining eggplant, adding more oil if needed. Transfer to plate. Set aside. 

Heat a wok or skillet over medium-high heat. Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil, the ginger, garlic and chile; cook gently but do not brown. Add water chestnuts and half of the green onions; Stir-fry for 5 seconds. Increase heat to high, add reserved soy sauce mixture and the eggplant. Toss quickly over high heat until the sauce is reduced and absorbed into eggplant, 1 to 2 minutes. Fold in vinegar and sesame oil. Remove to a serving dish. Top with remaining green onions and sesame seeds. Serve hot or cold.



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