One of my favorite dishes at any Chinese restaurant is Sichuan Eggplant. It’s sweet, it’s sour, it’s spicy—and it has a very unique flavor that I just love. Chinese restaurants are notorious for their questionable ingredients, however, so I set out to make this for myself using ingredients I can feel good about. Now I can have this amazing dish any time I feel like it, and I don’t need to feel guilty at all!
- 1 cup coconut oil
- 4T broth
- 4 small Japanese eggplants, sliced in half lengthwise, and cut in half crosswise
- 10 Chinese chives (suan miao) or scallions, thinly sliced, and more for garnish
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2" ginger, peeled & minced
- 2 T Chinese red chile bean paste
- 2 T soy sauce
- 1 t coconut sugar
- 2 t Chinkiang black vinegar (garnish)
- 1 t sesame oil (garnish)
- Steamed rice, for serving
- Submerge eggplant in ice water for 5 minutes. Drain eggplant and dry with paper towels; add to oil.
- Heat oil in a cast iron skillet. Using a knife, score the eggplant flesh or skin in a crosshatch pattern, about ⅙" deep.
- Cook until slightly tender, 2–3 minutes.
- Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a bowl; soak eggplants with boiling water and let sit for 3 minutes.
- Drain and dry; set aside.
- Add broth, oil, chives, garlic, and ginger to VitaClay pot, then add eggplant
- Cook on stew setting for 15-20 minutes and add chile bean paste, soy, and sugar
- Allow it to cook another 10 minutes.
- Transfer to a platter; garnish with chives, vinegar, and sesame oil.
- Serve with rice.
Please do let us know how this turns out!