For lovers of eggplant, it’s hard to go past this recipe. A very quick and simple traditional Shanghai home cooked side dish and while everyone has their own way of doing it, the ingredients remain the same.
1 large eggplant or a couple of the skinny long ones
3 cloves of garlic smashed
Chilli as much as you want – halved and de-seeded
Cut your eggplant into wedges and if they are loaded with seeds, then soak them in water for 30mins and pat dry before frying.
Heat some peanut oil in a wok until shimmering and add smashed garlic and whole chilli and fry for about 20 secs then remove the chilli and reserve it for later.
Add the eggplant and gently stir-fry until it takes on some colour. Add 1 tablespoon of water, 1 tablespoon of dark soy and some sugar and let the eggplant cook in the liquid. As the liquid is soaked up and evaporates keep adding 1 tablespoon of water at a time and cook covered until the eggplant is soft and velvety. You want it soft and velvety, not firm and not overcooked and falling apart.
Finally add a splash of Shaoshing wine into the hot wok and a good splash of chilli oil, return the cooked chilli and some garlic chives. Toss one final time and serve.
Here’s a link to some awesome chilli oil if you cant buy any – https://fabulousandtasty.com/2017/11/06/homemade-szechaun-chilli-oil/
Enjoy – a real winter warmer !