Sunday, February 23, 2014

Stir Fried Spicy Eggplant

I made this dish last night after trying it out at PF Chang's on Friday during a girls night out with some of my sorority sisters. I normally get their Almond and Cashew Chicken or Orange Peel chicken or beef, but I had ordered some crispy green beans (I must look for a recipe b/c this was delicious!) to go with our wine while we sat at the bar and waited for the other girls to arrive. Then Lauren ordered some edamame after we got seated at our table and waited for a couple more girls to arrive so I wasn't that hungry when it was time to order our entrees. Lauren and I sometimes order 2 different entrees and then split it...that's what we did Friday night. I shared my eggplant dish and I had some of her Kung Pao Chicken. Both were delicious!

I decided to find a copy cat recipe and found this recipe. The picture looked like the dish I had so I decided to try it. I had to make a trip at the Asian Market to buy a couple things I didn't have like chili paste and ground bean sauce. It took forever because I didn't have any idea what I was looking for and the lady just pointed to the Siracha when I asked for chili paste. I was looking for something that actually said chili paste and not just a hot sauce type of condiment. Thankfully my mom brought oyster sauce with her the last time she was down so I didn't have to look for it. I knew I had sesame oil already at home, but wasn't sure how much I had left so I just grabbed it since I found it fairly easily. 20 minutes later, Avery and I found our 2 "mystery" ingredients!

This dish was so good and despite all the ingredients and more steps than I normally like, it was fairly easy to make...and fast too! Kevin said he really liked this dish, but wants some sort of protein to go with it. I think I'm going to mix in some stir fried chicken or beef next time. I think it will go great with the sauce!

I made a few tiny changes to the recipe. Here's my version:

Gather it:
2 large eggplants, peeled and cut into 1" cubes
3 tsp garlic, minced (you can do less, the recipe calls for 1 tsp, but we love garlic)
1/2 Tbsp corn starch, mixed w/ 1 Tbsp water to make a paste
1/2 cup vegetable oil, halved

Gather it for the Spicy Sauce:
2 Tbsp oyster sauce
2 Tbsp soy auce
2 Tbsp water
1 Tbsp white vinegar
1 Tbsp sugar
1.5 tsp chili paste (the original recipe called for 1 tsp, but mine wasn't that spicy)
1/2 tp ground bean sauce
1/2 tsp sesame oil

Make it:
1) Combine all Spicy Sauce ingredients in a small bowl and mix well. Set aside.

2) In a wok, heat 1/4 cup of the vegetable oil over high heat. Stir fry half of the eggplant for 4-5 minutes until tender. Remove eggplant and drain on a plate with paper towels.

3) Add remaining vegetable oil and repeat #2. Two eggplants seem like a lot, but they shrink a lot! I was originally only going to do 1 eggplant, but then I realized it wouldn't be enough for Kevin and me so I decided to do both eggplants.

4) After cooking eggplants, remove all but ~1/2 tsp of oil from wok. Stir fry your garlic for about 5 seconds over high heat then add the spicy sauce.

5) Reduce heat and let sauce simmer for about 20 seconds. Add all of the eggplant and simmer for another 20 seconds.

6) Stir in cornstarch paste a little bit at a time until your sauce is to your desire consistency. I used 2 spoonfuls (regular sized dinner spoon). Serve immediately over a bed of rice.

I decided to take Avery with me to the Asian Market after she woke up from her nap...she was excited to go

I'm 100% Filipino, but was so lost at the store! 

Both my ingredients were in the same aisle and on the same side, but it still took me 20 minutes to find them!

Avery found Hello Kitty cookies! She started liking Hello Kitty when I bought her an FSU shirt w/ HK on it and then she got sparkly HK tennis shoes from her cousin. Funny enough there was a lady wearing a HK costume at the mall earlier that day doing a promo for a store. She kept yelling "Hello Kitty!" for about 10 minutes and yet wouldn't go anywhere near her. 

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