Extra sauce for eggplant keeps well
CIAO MEIN restaurant in the Hyatt Waikiki makes its mark with a fusion approach to Chinese food, but one of its most popular dishes is a Szechuan standard, well-known to lovers of spicy Asian foods.
Lyla Dang asked for the recipe for Szechuan Eggplant and the restaurant was quick to comply.
Note that it's a two-parter: You have to make a Mother Sauce first, and this recipe makes a lot more sauce than you'll need for a single batch of eggplant. In fact, you'll have enough for 12 batches. But you can freeze it and use a little at a time.
The two ingredients you might not have in your pantry are the bean sauce and chili-garlic sauce. Both brands suggested by the restaurant are common in Asian markets. I found them on the shelves of 99 Ranch Market in Mapunapuna. The bean sauce comes in a 13-ounce jar, so you'll need two to get the 1-1/2 pounds (24 ounces) you need for the Mother Sauce recipe.
2 long eggplant (10 ounces total weight)
Vegetable oil, for deep-frying
1/2 teaspoon chopped garlic
1/2 teaspoon chopped ginger
1 tablespoon sherry
2 tablespoons chicken broth
2 to 3 slices red chili pepper
1/2 cup Mother Sauce (recipe follows)
1 teaspoon cornstarch, dissolved in 2 teaspoons water
Peel eggplant and cut into 3-inch pieces. Cut each piece into quarters. Heat oil and deep-fry eggplant 1-1/2 to 2 minutes. Drain on paper towels
Heat 1 tablespoon more oil in wok. Add garlic, ginger and eggplant; stir-fry. Add sherry, broth and sauce. Adjust thickness of sauce with dissolved cornstarch. Serve garnished with cilantro. Serves 4 as a side dish.
Approximate nutritional analysis, per serving: 320 calories, 30 g total fat, 2.5 g saturated fat, no cholesterol, 850 mg sodium, 13 g carbohydrate, 3 g fiber, 7 g sugar, 2 g protein.
1-1/2 pounds (about 2-1/2 cups) bean sauce (Koon Chun brand preferred)
2 cups water
1 cup rice vinegar
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup Vietnamese chili-garlic sauce (Tuong Ot Toi preferred)
1/3 cup ketchup
1/3 cup sesame oil
Combine ingredients. May be refrigerated 3 weeks or frozen up to 6 months. Makes about 6 cups.
Approximate nutritional analysis, per 2 tablespoon serving: 110 calories, 4.5 g fat, no saturated fat or cholesterol, greater than 1,600 mg sodium, 17 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber, 10 g sugar, 2 g protein.
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