This dish has many authentic variations in China, and I am going to share my version of this much-loved classic below. My recipe is developed from Bill’s (The woks of life). By the way, if you are not that into spiciness, try a Cantonese version of this dish, which futures fish fragrant rather than spicy.
Ingredients: 1. 2 or 3 eggplants (preferable Japanese/Chinese eggplants). Cut into bite-size pieces. Yield about 6 cups. 2. 5 cups of oil 3. 4 oz. ground pork For seasoning the ground pork: 4. 1 teaspoon sesame oil 5. 1 teaspoon soy sauce (low sodium) 6. 1 teaspoon Shaoxing wine For the source mix: 7. 1 teaspoon sesame oil 8. 1 tablespoon soy sauce (low sodium) 9. 2 teaspoons sugar 10. 2 tablespoon Shaoxing wine 11. 1 teaspoon fish sauce For frying the ground pork: 12. 2 thin slices ginger (julienned) 13. 10 dried red chilies 14. 1 teaspoon finely minced garlic 15. 1 tablespoon spicy bean paste(douban la Jiang) 16. 2 scallions (cut into 2-inch lengths; white part only)
Methods: 1. Season the ground pork with ingredients 4-6 for 10 minutes. 2. Make sauce mix: combine the sauce ingredients (7-11) in a small bowl, and set aside. 3. Over middle-high heat, heat 4 cups of oil in your wok. Add eggplants and fried them for 2 minutes to light brown. Take them out. Higher the heat, put them back to fry 1 more minute. Take them out and put on paper towels to absorb extra oils (see notes) 4. Set the heat to medium-high and add 1 tablespoon of oil to the wok, along with the ground pork. After the pork has browned, add the ginger and cook for 1 minute to let it crystalize with the pork. Stir in ingredients 12-16 and fry for 2 minutes. 5. Add the eggplant back in, along with the sauce mix. Stir-fry everything together for another 2 minutes, making sure everything is well-combined. Plate and serve over hot rice.
Notes on method3: 1. Oil will come out when frying the eggplants the second time. 2. Although deep frying eggplants is delicious, if you prefer a less oily version, you could sear eggplants on a pan/wok without oil.
Preparing time: 10 minutes; Cooking time: 15 minutes
* Thank Yancy for photography.