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SICHUAN STYLE BRAISED EGGPLANT


1 1/2 lb Asian (slender) eggplants

1 tbsp salt

3 tbsp canola oil

FOR THE SAUCE

3/4 cup chicken broth

1 tbsp each chile bean paste,black vinegar,and dark soy sauce

1 1/2 tsp light soy sauce

1 tsp  tomato paste

1 tsp sesame oil

1/2 tsp sugar

1/2 tsp cornstarch

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tbsp peeled and fresh ginger

2 green spring onions thinly sliced on the diagonal

Cut on the diagonal into 1-inch pieces. Place the eggplant pieces in a large bowl. Add cold water to cover and stir in the salt. Weight the eggplant pieces with a plate to keep them submerged. Soak for 30 minutes,drain,and pat dry with paper towels.

In a wok or large saute pan over high heat, heat 2 tbsp of the canoa oil until very hot. Working in 2 batches,add enough eggplant to cover the bottom of the pan in a single layer and stir fry until crisp and brown on all sides,7-10 minutes. Tansfer to a bowl. Set the pan aside without rinsing.

To make the sauce, in a bowl,stir together the broth,chile bean paste,vinegar,dark soy sauce.light soy sauce,tomato paste sesame oil,sugar, and cornstarch.

Return the pa to high heat, add th eremaining 1 tbsp oil,stir in the garlic and garlic and saute until just golden brown,about 2 minutes.Add th esauce and bring to  boil. Stir in the eggplant, reduce the heat  to low,cover, and braise the eggplant until just tender,7-10 minutes. Uncover and simmer for a few more minutes until the sauce thickens.

Transfer the eggplant to a warmed bowl and garnish with the green onions.Serve at once


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