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Sichuan Eggplant - Where Have You Been All My Life?
This tremendous Chinese dish, a speciality of the Sichuan province, has been around a very long time. However, it only recently entered my life as a dish I had to try for my 1,000 Foods To Eat Project. I regret it took so long for me to discover this amazing dish...but better late than never as they say!
1,000 FOODS TO EAT PROJECT
I am working my way through the foods that are listed in the book 1,000 Foods to Eat Before You Die by Mimi Sheraton. This is called my 1,000 Foods to Eat Project. The Chinese Sichuan dish called Sichuan Eggplant is food #53 in my Project!
In this book, the author Mimi Sheraton lists her choice for the 1,000 Foods of the World that you MUST try. Sichuan Eggplant, which is one of Sichuan's favorite foods, is an absolute dream of a dish! Please don't let another day pass you by before enjoying it! 😃
What Ingredients Will I Need To Make Sichuan Eggplant?
Sichuan Eggplant is a pretty simple dish to make. However, if you are not familiar with ingredients typically used in Sichuan cooking, there may be a tiny bit of a learning curve regarding those ingredients.
I have linked to Amazon for some of these ingredients for convenience sake. You should be able to find everything in a well stocked Asian store.
So, here are the ingredients you will need:
- Japanese or Chinese eggplant - this dish is best using Asian eggplant, and not the American or standard globe eggplant. Here is an article from FineCooking.com which explains the differences amongst these eggplants.
- Salt (for soaking the eggplant)
- Sichuan peppercorn - these are quite amazing! They generate a numbing and tingly feeling in your mouth. It may seem strange at first, but I promise it's addictive! You will want to grind up the peppercorns for use in this dish.
- Minced pork (can omit if you like)
- Dried Asian chilies - leave whole for a spicy dish, and cut them up for more spice!
- Light soy sauce (can sub regular soy sauce)
- Black vinegar
- Chicken stock
- Vegetable or peanut oil
- Potato starch (can sub corn starch)
- Sesame oil
- Spring onions for garnish
- Pixian Douban (broad bean paste) - this adds a fantastic rich salty flavor to this dish! Indispensable!
The beauty of acquiring these ingredients is that you can use them to not only make Sichuan eggplant, but you now have the tools to cook up quite an array of delicious Sichuan dishes! More about that later.
Above all, please don't let the list of ingredients put you off of making this dish. It's totally worth it! 😊
The Easy Steps To Make Sichuan Eggplant
Silky and delicious Sichuan eggplant is just a few steps away! Begin by cutting up the eggplant into somewhat small slivers as pictured below. Then soak it in some salty water for around 15 minutes or so. Coat the eggplant with the potato starch after draining and patting dry the eggplant. Then stir fry on a blazing high heat for a few minutes until nicely browned, softened and silky. You'll set this aside until later.
Next it's time to fry your pork. I love making crispy pork it's super fun! Sometimes the pork starts popping out of the pan when it gets crispy. 😃Set the pork aside until later.
Here is where everything comes together! You'll begin this magic by stir frying the Pixian Douban (broad bean paste) with a sauce consisting of light soy sauce, black vinegar, sugar, and chicken broth.
Then it's time to incorporate copious amounts of garlic and ginger. Next, add the stir fried eggplant and pork to the mix, finishing off by mixing in the tingly Sichuan peppercorn, Asian dried chilies, and drizzling with sesame oil.
Pixian douban with stir fry sauce Add garlic and ginger to the sauce and Pixian douban Return the eggplant and crispy pork
Here is the glorious end result...Sichuan eggplant RICH with flavor! This dish is salty, garlicky, gingery, spicy, silky and downright INCREDIBLE!
Serve Sichuan Eggplant With Rice!
Traditionally this dish is served with steamed rice and garnished with green onions. Truly that's all you need. I devoured mouthful after mouthful and the only regret I had was that I didn't make more!
I am pretty confident that you will devour this dish just as I did. Please take time to enjoy the complex flavors in this dish, as well as the mouth numbing and tingling effect. TRULY ADDICTIVE!
Some Other Sichuan Dishes For You To Try!
Why not use the wonderful Chinese ingredients you buy for Sichuan eggplant in these other incredible Sichuan dishes?
If you’d like to come along on this food journey with me, please sign up to get the latest recipes and inspiration for you to expand your food comfort zone! It’s an incredible journey, please join me by signing up here. 🙂
Silky and Superb Sichuan Eggplant!
- Cast iron pan or wok
- ½ lb Japanese or Chinese eggplant
- 1 ts salt for soaking the eggplant
- 1 tablespoon potato starch can sub corn starch
- 3 tablespoon vegetable or peanut oil
- ¼ lb minced pork
- ½ tablespoon Pixian Douban broad bean paste; if you can't find this you can omit it BUT please include in this dish if you can it's not the same without it!
- 2 ts ginger minced
- 2 ts garlic minced
- 7-10 dried Asian chilies modify to suit your tastes; leave whole for a less spicy dish, and cut them up for a more spicy dish
- 1 ts Sichuan peppercorn freshly ground is best
- sesame oil for drizzling
- spring onions sliced for garnish
- 1 ts light soy sauce can sub regular soy sauce
- 1 ts black vinegar
- ½ ts sugar
- 3 tablespoon chicken stock
- Cut up the eggplant into thin slivers as shown in the picture. Then soak it in some salty water for around 15 minutes or so. Coat the eggplant with the potato starch after draining and patting dry the eggplant.
- Add 3 tablespoon of your vegetable or peanut oil to as cast iron pan or wok, and turn the heat to high. Once the oil is super hot, add the eggplant and stir fry constantly until they soften a bit (about 3-4 minutes), are silky, and slightly browned. Remove and set aside for later.
- Turn down the heat to medium high. Now add the minced pork to the pan and continue to stir fry until the pork turns crispy. This should take around 3-4 minutes. Remove and set aside for later.
- Continue on medium high heat. Stir fry the Pixian Douban (broad bean paste) with a sauce consisting of light soy sauce, black vinegar, sugar, and chicken broth for about 30 seconds.
- Add the minced garlic and ginger and stir fry to incorporate until fragrant (around 30 seconds).
- Next, add the stir fried eggplant and pork to the mix, finishing off by mixing in the tingly Sichuan peppercorn, Asian dried chilies, and drizzling with sesame oil.
- Behold your masterpiece!