Eggplant with Garlic Sauce(鱼香茄子) Semi-Authentic

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Eggplant with Garlic Sauce (鱼香茄子) Semi-Authentic

Eggplant with Garlic Sauce or “fish fragrant eggplant” (yuxiang qiezi) is a well known Sichuan dish that has spread worldwide.  However many variations arises as it reaches different cultures.

In most cases, restaurant make this dish by deep frying the eggplants as this is the traditional way of making it.  By deep frying the eggplant, it makes the eggplant soft and tasty but it also make it very oily as eggplant soaks up oil like sponge, thus unhealthy.   Therefore, a lot of people making this dish at home would prefer to stir-fry or steam the eggplant until soft instead of frying.  Here is a tip for making the eggplant absorb less oil, soak the eggplant in salted water for about 10-15 mins. this make the cellular wall to collapse thus absorbing less oil.

The authentic way of making this dish involves the use of pickled chili pepper as one of the main ingredient.  The pickled chili pepper gives this dish more depth and umami flavor as well as extra heat.  The pickled chili pepper are finely chopped into small pieces and then fried along side minced ginger, garlic and green onion roots.

As you maybe aware, pickling chili peppers takes more than a week to make thus it is a bit of hassle, that is why different variations arises to make this dish more accessible to the general public.   For example, in Japan they make this dish without using pickled chili peppers but they add in Tian Men Jiang (sweet bean paste) to balance the flavor and to adjust it to their taste.  In Japan, this dish is less spicy and has a more balance flavor of sweet and spicy.

For my version, I tried to use the same ingredients as in the authentic version minus of course the pickled chili pepper.

Ingredients: Serving Size (2-3)
Eggplants: 450 g or 16 oz
Ground Pork: 100 g or 3.5 oz
Ginger: 1 1/2 tbsp (mince)
Garlic: 1 1/2 tbsp (mince)
Green Onion: 4 sprigs (white part) and for garnishing (green parts)
PiXian Dou Ban Jiang: 1 tbsp
Whole Dried Chilies: 5
Veg. Oil: 2 tbsp

Sauce:
Sugar: 2 tsp
Soy Sauce: 2 tbsp
Shao Xing Rice Wine: 1 tbsp
Unsalted Chicken Stock/Water: 1 cup or 237 mL
Sesame Oil: 1/2 tsp
Black Vinegar: 2 tbsp
Potato Starch: 1 tsp
Water: 1 tsp

Water: 6 cup or 1.4 L
Salt: 2 tbsp
Oil: For frying

Where to buy:
PiXian DouBanJIang: http://goo.gl/REShGM
ChinKiang Vinegar: http://goo.gl/1GH01H
Dried Whole Chilies: http://goo.gl/JV7zL0

3 Comments

  1. Pingback: Eggplant with Garlic Sauce (鱼香茄子) Semi-Authentic The Art Of Cooking

  2. Wow, finally an Asian who speaks great English and has bridged the devide between Asian cooking techniques that were a virtual secret to me. Thank you very much. Please make a video on creating an outdoor wok station at home. Also can you make some of the local dishes that are made on the series- ” A Bite of China”?

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    • Hi Evie, sorry for the late reply. Yes, I will try to make some of the local dishes from the series “A Bite of China” but some of the ingredients are hard to get but I will try my best to replicated for you.

      As for outdoor wok station at home. It’s quite easy. There are 2 ways that I know of, the first way is to use brick or concrete slabs to form the base or support then use a propane gas or butane gas with direct injection underneath the wok. Another way is to use empty steel drum and cut the bottom out for gas to enter. That’s probably the cheapest way to have an outdoor wok. Depending on the size of the wok, you can cut out the steel drum to the specify size that will fit in will out falling over.

      In the old days in China, they just used bricks and paste some mud on it. Now, most companies just use stainless steel with a specialized mud (I think it’s volcanic ash but I can remember the exact name for it) that can reach to a temperature of excess 1000 F. So it’s quite easy to create an outdoor wok station.

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