Have you noticed that lately I have been making a lot of Asian inspired dishes? Most likely because I was raised on Chinese food. Wait. What? Are wondering if one of my parents was Asian?
So, here’s the thing. As far back as I can remember, we ate Chinese food every Sunday at the same restaurant since I was 2 years old. That’s a lot of Chinese food. I recall my father having a “secret friendship” going on with one specific waiter in this establishment.
Now that I think of it, I’m more convinced than ever that my father was a token member of the Chinese Intelligence Service (CIS) Hold on a sec. Not that he was shady or anything, it was because every week he was given extra “things” with our order.
Did anyone else in the restaurant get special treatment? I don’t think so and the reason behind this was later discovered.
You see, if we received a plate with extra egg rolls, more noodles or the “special” cookies it was because of the TIP. My father slipped our waiter (on a weekly basis) extra cash so he would get jacked up menu items. I’m not sure why this was so secretive. I used to watch him grease the waiter’s palm on the down low and lo and behold, when we got our sweet and sour chicken the plate was overflowing onto the table. My father always said that it was because the waiter had a good connection with the chef. Right. Uh huh.
Whenever I make a dish that looks as pretty as this one I remember my Chinese roots. They go way back.
Anyhoo. I think stirfrys are the best. They are my go-to meals pretty much every time I want to cook something fast and fairly healthy.
My secret to making a good stirfry is always is the sauce – you have to use your imagination and just open your fridge to see what’s inside. I always end up adding stuff that is may not sound like it fits into the recipe but ends up making the seasoning just right.
Not big on eggplant? You can 100% make this recipe with zucchini instead. Not big on zucchini? You can sub in thinly sliced potatoes in here too. What about protein? Feel free to add in minced meat such as pork, chicken or beef. Vegetarian? Throw in some tofu.
Anyway you slice it, this is so delicious you are going to ask for seconds. Do I have you convinced? Thought so.
- 2 long Asian eggplants
- pinch of sea salt
- 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, minced
- ½ tablespoon Chinese cooking wine
- 2 tablespoons peanut oil
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 scallions, finely sliced
- ½ tablespoon black bean paste
- 1 tablespoon light soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
- ⅛ teaspoon sugar
- ½ teaspoon sesame oil
- Sesame Seaweed Salad - store bought or homemade
- Remove the ends of the eggplants and then cut into small cubes. Transfer them into a large pot filled with water, add pinch of salt and soak for 10 minutes. Drain completely.
- Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in wok and fry the eggplants for 6-9 minutes until they become soft. Transfer eggplants to a plate out and leave the oil in the wok. Add green onion to the wok with the garlic, ginger and black bean paste and stir fry about 2 minutes. Return the eggplants to the wok with the soy sauce, oyster sauce, sugar and sesame oil. Stir fry until heated through, serve with additional scallions, chopped peanuts and sesame seaweed salad.