- 12 to 16 oz (375 to 500 g) Asian eggplant (2 or 3 eggplants)
- 1 tbsp (15 mL) soy sauce
- 1 tbsp (15 mL) rice vinegar (preferably black or other aged rice vinegar)
- 2 tsp (10 mL) Chinese rice wine or dry sherry
- 1 tsp (5 mL) granulated sugar
- 1/4 tsp (1 mL) ground Sichuan pepper
- 3 green onions
- 3 tbsp (45 mL) peanut or vegetable oil
- 3 tbsp (45 mL) hot bean paste
- 1 tbsp (15 mL) minced fresh gingerroot
- 6 oz (175 g) ground pork
- 1/4 tsp (1 mL) white pepper
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup (250 mL) light chicken or pork stock or water
- 8 oz (250 g) regular (medium) tofu, cubed and drained
- 1 tsp (5 mL) cornstarch
- 1 tsp (5 mL) sesame oil
Fill wok half-full of water; over high heat, bring to boil. Add whole eggplants and boil, turning occasionally, until just a little tender when pinched, 3 to 4 minutes. Drain in colander; let cool. Cut into 1/2-inch/1 cm thick slices.
In bowl, mix together soy sauce, rice vinegar, rice wine, sugar and Sichuan pepper. Mince white and light green parts of green onions; thinly slice dark green parts. Set aside.
In wok, heat oil over medium-high heat; fry hot bean paste, stirring, until oil becomes red, 1 to 2 minutes. Add white and light green parts of green onions and ginger; stir-fry until fragrant, 1 to 1-1/2 minutes. Add pork and white pepper; stir-fry until golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes.
Stir in garlic; fry for 30 seconds. Stir in soy sauce mixture. Stir-fry until almost all liquid is incorporated. Add stock; bring to boil. Add eggplant and tofu. Cook, stirring occasionally without breaking up tofu, until liquid is reduced by half.
Mix cornstarch with 2 tsp/10 mL water; stir into wok and cook until sauce is lightly thickened. Stir in sesame oil and dark green parts of green onions. Transfer immediately to serving dish.
Makes 4 to 6 servings.