Okay I know this looks pretty much the same as yesterday but it’s not, it’s so much better! I don’t usually make the same thing 2 days in a row but circumstances led me back to the Asian market today and for whatever reason I decided to try this again. Yesterday it was good, but the eggplant didn’t cook down enough so it wasn’t really that good. After looking at some other recipes on the internet, I made some adjustments and this time it turned out fantastic. I could eat the entire pan… and I’m not even that hungry! I renamed it Hot & Sour because today it tasted more hot and sour than sweet and spicy… I don’t really know why, I used pretty much the same ingredients.
But anyways if you’re looking at this now and craving eggplant, don’t make yesterday’s recipe make this one! It took a little longer but it was worth it. Oh and “mushroom broth” isn’t really a broth, it’s the liquid leftover from soaking dried black mushrooms. I only used it because I had some leftover in the fridge and I wanted more sauce. You can substitute vegetable broth or water, or just omit it completely if you want less sauce.
Hot & Sour Eggplant Stir-Fry
- 1.5 lbs Japanese Eggplant (about 3 medium)
- 1 large red bell pepper, quartered and thinly sliced
- 4.5 T tamari
- 3 T coconut sugar
- 3 T brown rice vinegar
- 3 T mushroom broth (or vegetable broth or water)
- 1 tsp toasted sesame oil
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 inch fresh ginger, peeled and minced
- 2 fresh red Thai chilies, thinly sliced
- 1 green onion, thinly sliced
- 1 T arrowroot powder
- 1 T filtered water
- 1/4 cup coconut oil
- 1/4 cup fresh Thai basil
- sesame seeds for garnish
Cut eggplant into 1/2 inch cubes. Place cubed eggplant in a colander and sprinkle generously with sea salt. Toss. Let stand 30 minutes. Rinse thoroughly and drain on paper towels.
Heat 2 T coconut oil in a wok over medium high heat til hot. Add half of the eggplant cubes and stir-fry until eggplant becomes very soft and turns semi-translucent and green-ish in color, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove cooked eggplant and set aside. Add more oil to the wok and repeat with the rest of the eggplant. Remove and set aside.
While the eggplant is cooking, in a small bowl or measuring cup, whisk together tamari, rice vinegar, coconut sugar, mushroom broth and sesame oil. This is the sauce. Set aside.
Add a little more oil to the wok and throw in the red pepper slices. Stir-fry 5 minutes til slightly carmelized and remove.
Add a little more oil to the wok and toss in garlic, ginger, red chilies and green onion. Stir-fry 1 minute until fragrant, then pour the sauce into the wok. Stir well. Carefully mix in eggplant and peppers and stir well.
Turn the heat up to high and bring the sauce to a boil. While the sauce is heating, whisk the arrowroot powder with 1 T filtered water in a small bowl. Pour the arrowroot slurry into the boiling sauce and stir well to combine. Immediately turn heat to low once the sauce has thickened (it will thicken very quickly) and stir to coat vegetables evenly in the thickened sauce. Throw in half of the basil leaves and stir to combine.
Remove from heat and serve over brown rice or quinoa. Garnish with sesame seeds and the rest of the basil. Enjoy!
So it’s kind of the same recipe but the technique is different. I think cooking the eggplant in 2 batches really helps to ensure it will end up tender. I also felt that the peppers tasted better when stir-fried separately. All in all, this is the better recipe. See for yourself!