Szechuan Spicy Eggplant


6 Japanese eggplants*
2 green onions
1/2 cup vegetable stock
3 tbsp vegetable oil

Spicy Szechuan Sauce:
- 4 garlic cloves
- 1 red Thai chili pepper**
- 2 tbsp shredded fresh ginger
- 4 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp black bean sauce
- 1 tbsp rice vinegar
- 2 tbsp mirin (or any rice wine)
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 2 tbsp sesame oil
- 1 tsp Szechuan pepper (if yo have it)

*Yes, you need these ones. Sorry, it's not going to work with the regular/Mediterranean type.
**If you don't have fresh Thai chillies, you can use chili paste instead (about 1 tbsp).


Spicy Szechuan Sauce:

Peel garlic cloves and place them in a mortar. Add chili (or chili paste) and ginger. Grind and reserve.
Place all the other sauce ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Add the chili/garlic/ginger paste and mix.

Cooking the eggplant:

Wash the eggplants and cut off stems. Cut them into long strips (finger size). Reserve.
Wash the green onions and cut them into thin slices. Reserve.
Place a skillet over medium heat and add 3 tbsp vegetable oil.
Add eggplants and cook for about 5 minutes. Stir often.
Add half of the sauce and cook for 2 minutes. Stir often
Add the rest of the sauce and cook for another 2 minutes. Stir.
Add vegetable stock and lower heat. Cook for 5 minutes.
Turn off heat.
Garnish with sliced green onions. Serve very hot with cooked rice.

VARIATION: you can make a version of this by adding chunks of tofu, either deep fried, stir fried or directly from the package. 

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