Stir-Fried Garlic Eggplant with Ground Pork
Chinese Soul Food
This easy stir-fried garlic eggplant from Chinese Soul Food is delicious as-is, but also wildly adaptable—try using Chinese sausage or even bacon instead of ground pork, or leave out the meat entirely to make it vegan. Add an extra splash of rice vinegar for a punchier sour counterpoint, or increase the amount of chili sauce if you really like spice. You can also use standard eggplants if you can’t find the longer, thinner, paler purple Chinese variety at your store. Either way, briefly roasting the eggplant before stir-frying reduces the amount of oil you’ll need.
Got a bumper crop of eggplant? Try it in our Eggplant Curry with Lemongrass and Coconut Milk recipe and our Cuban Eggplant and Tomato Stew recipe too.
- 1 pound Chinese eggplant
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1/4 pound ground pork
- 1 to 2 tablespoons minced garlic
- 3 stalks green onions, finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1 teaspoon chili sauce
- 1 teaspoon rice vinegar or balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon sesame oil
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro or scallions to garnish (optional)
1Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
2Cut the stem and tail ends off the eggplants. The skin on Chinese eggplants is usually thin, so you don’t have to peel them. Cut the eggplant into segments about 3 inches long and about ½ inch thick. Spread the pieces on a baking sheet and roast for 7 to 10 minutes, or until soft.
3Meanwhile, preheat the wok over high heat until wisps of smoke rise from the surface. Add 1 tablespoon of the vegetable oil and heat until it starts to shimmer. Add the pork and, using a spatula, break it up and stir-fry for about 1 minute, or until brown and nearly cooked through. It’s okay if the pork gets slightly crispy edges. Remove the wok from the heat, transfer the pork to a small bowl, and set aside. There will be some residual grease and charred bits left in the wok. Rinse the wok and dry with a towel.
4When the eggplant is done roasting, you are ready to stir-fry. Return the wok to the stove over high heat. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, the garlic, onions, and ginger. Quickly stir the aromatics for about 10 seconds. Add the pork, soy sauce, water, chili sauce, vinegar, and sugar, and stir for a few seconds to combine. Add the eggplant, and toss it in the sauce. Continue to stir-fry for 1 to 2 minutes more, or until the eggplant has absorbed the sauce. Drizzle with sesame oil, toss one last time, and remove the wok from the heat. Sprinkle the cilantro or scallions over the top and serve with steamed rice.
©2018 by Hsiao-Ching Chou. All rights reserved. Excerpted from Chinese Soul Food by permission of Sasquatch Books. Photograph by Clare Barboza.
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