I had bought all the ingredients on the weekend and was talking to mum on the phone about the recipe.
‘Sounds nice,’ mum said. ‘But if you fry eggplant, it will soak up a lot of oil. It’s not very healthy. Why don’t you bake or steam the eggplant instead?’
Later, Damjan confirmed it. ‘Well, yes, eggplant probably will absorb a lot of oil. That’s what makes it taste nice!’
However, in the interest of health, I decided I would take mum’s advice and steam the eggplant before frying it in the wok. I don’t have a steamer but I do have a rice cooker and a flat bottomed round metal container sized such that it would sit snugly in the rice cooker. The combination is an ideal no mess double steamer.
The experiment was successful, very tasty. You can recreate it yourself.
- 1.5 tbsp mápó sauce (Sichuan chilli bean sauce, of mápó tofu and ants climbing up trees fame)
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp vinegar
- 1/2 tsp sugar
- 500g eggplant (I used around two medium sized ones), cut into cubes
- 1 onion, cut into slices
- 1 red chilli, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1/2 cup fresh coriander
Mix together mápó sauce, soy sauce, vinegar and sugar.
Steam eggplant until soft (or fry in oil and use paper towels to absorb excess oil).
Then fry the sauce and eggplant together. When finished, mix in the coriander.
The coriander is very good. I think it made the dish taste nice. Serve with rice.
I sent this recipe to my mum and she immediately tried it out. She wrote:
‘Joan, I have just cooked the eggplant stir fry recipe that you gave me. It’s very tasty. For the next party I go to, I will bring this dish. Have a look at this photo. Is it like yours?’