Eggplant Szechwan Style (version II)

2 cups eggplant, or one medium sized eggplant cut into 3-inch x 1-inch x 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 cup flour
Flavoring Mixture
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
1 tablespoon chopped ginger
1 tablespoon chopped green onion
1/2 cup of shredded black mushrooms or fresh mushrooms
2 tablespoons cooking oil
6 cups deep frying oil
Sauce Mixture
1 tablespoon dry sherry
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 teaspoons hot bean sauce
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon chinese black vinegar
1 tablespoon corn starch
1/3 cup sauce broth
1 tablespoon chopped green onion for garnish

Shake the eggplant in flour, making sure that all the cut surfaces are coated. Deep fry the coated eggplant at 375 degrees F for 2 to 4 minutes until golden brown in color and soft. Place the fried eggplant on a few layers of paper towels to absorb excess oil.

Stir fry the flavoring mixture in 2 tablespoons of cooking oil until it smells good, add the mushrooms and fry until it is done. Add the sauce mixture, stir well and when the sauce turns clear, mix in the fried eggplant. Gently fold the eggplant into the sauce.

Notes: To make a hotter dish a teaspoon or two of Szechwan hot sauce may be added to the sauce mixture, or a tablespoon of shredded fresh hot peppers may be stir fried along with the flavoring mixture.

If deep frying is a problem, another approach is to pan fry the eggplant patiently. Cover the wok while frying and sprinkle a few drops of water periodically to speed up the cooking. The eggplant can also be baked or steamed.

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