Last year in December Stephen and I cat sat for one of our friends in Markham, who lived near First Markham Place. This meant we were often in the neighbourhood to play and cuddle with the energetic fur ball. Since we were already nearby, we’d stop by the food court at FMP to pick up dinner. For me, this was a box of Yu Xiang Eggplant from Yan Can Cook, my “healthy” pick, while Stephen would get Salt and Pepper Pork Chops.
I’m not sure how healthy my eggplant actually is, but it’s one of my favourite dishes and Yan’s version is one of the best. From Szechuan restaurants to food courts, if I see Yu Xiang Eggplant on the menu, I always choose it as my “vegetable” dish. Stephen’s fried eggplant dish uses plenty of garlic and packs a bit of heat. The flavours are classically Asian and totally satisfies my eggplant cravings.
- 1 tbsp corn starch
- 1 tbsp rice wine
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 1/2 tbsp oyster sauce
- 1 tbsp black bean chili paste (doubanjiang)
- 1 cup water
- 2 Chinese eggplants
- 100g ground pork
- 5-6 cloves of garlic
- 1 dried chili pepper
- 1 cup of vegetable oil
- Cut eggplants into 1-1.5 inch chunks and finely mince the garlic and dried chili pepper.
- In a bowl, mix together the corn starch, rice wine, soy sauce, oyster sauce, black bean chili paste and water to create a sauce.
- In a large wok (or a pot with high walls), on medium-high heat, heat up the vegetable oil. Fry the chunks of eggplant until the outside browns, about 2-3 minutes. Once fried, remove from the eggplant from the oil and set aside. Remove all of the frying oil except for 1 tbsp.
- Using the same wok, turn stove to high heat. Once the oil just begins to smoke, add in the ground pork, minced garlic and dried chili pepper. Stir fry the ground pork until browned.
- Add the cooked eggplant and stir fry together, about 30 seconds.
- Stir the previously mixed sauce and pour into the hot wok, continue to stir the eggplant and pork until the sauce thickens.
- Optional: Garnish with fresh green onions, fried shallots and serve