Fragrant Eggplant

1 large eggplant
4 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon cornstarch
3 tablespoons dry sherry
3 tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup distilled white vinegar
1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon crushed dried red pepper
6 slices ginger, about the size and thickness of a quarter
4 scallions, chopped, separate white and green parts

1. Cut stem end off eggplant. Dice eggplant into small cubes. Sprinkle eggplant with salt and place in a colander to drain. Let sit for 15 minutes. Squeeze as much liquid out as possible.

2. In a small bowl, combine soy sauce, sugar, vinegar and water .

3. Heat 1 tablespoon dry sherry in a large skillet or wok. Add red peppers and stir. Add ginger, white part of scallion. Stir fry briefly until ginger becomes fragrant. Add the squeezed eggplant and sauté approximately 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until eggplant is thoroughly cooked. You shouldn't have any trouble with sticking because the eggplant still has a bit of moisture in it but if it does, add a little bit of water or sherry.

4. Add soy sauce mixture and cook over high heat until most of the liquid is evaporated and eggplant is thoroughly coated with reduced sauce - about 5 minutes.

5. Combine 2 tablespoons sherry with cornstarch.

6. Add chopped green part of scallions and sherry mixed with cornstarch. Stir and cook until thick.

Serve hot over plain rice.

Makes four servings

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