Okay, I’m back. I went to New Jersey this past week to visit my friends and my church. So I kind of abandoned this blog…kind of…but trust me when I say that I didn’t stop thinking about it, even though I didn’t update. Old friends, old feelings, old places…nostalgia and more nostalgia. I sure did miss my friends, but there were some things that I guess I had to finish, things that I didn’t even know were left unfinished. I’m so behind on posting though. I went to a couple of restaurants while I was down there, but shame on me, I didn’t have my camera with me, so not much to report back. 😦 I’ll be sure to have my camera handy next time.
And now for the spicy eggplant. You see, eggplant is one of those things, like coconut I suppose. There are extreme lovers, and extreme haters. It is one odd vegetable. Cook it a certain way and I can swear that it tastes almost like meat, with its tender, hearty texture. It also acts like a sponge. Try something, slice up some eggplant, pour some oil into a heated pan, toss the slices in, and watch the oil just disappear. Now add some more, where the heck did it all go? You can forgo the experiment and not waste food if you’d like. Just believe me. So use a light hand on the oil when you’re making this dish.
2 lbs eggplant, cut into 1/2 inch dice
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 large or 2 medium tomatoes, diced
10 Sichuan Peppercorns
3 Tbsp. oil
1 Tbsp. red chili sauce, with oil (老干妈) *I love this stuff, goes well with everything! 😀
1 Tbsp. light soy sauce
salt to taste
1/4 c. chopped cilantro
In a wok, heat the oil on medium high. Add the chili sauce, peppercorns, and fry for a few minutes, until the fragrance really gets to you (I always sneeze). Then add the garlic and eggplant. Stir fry, until the eggplant is lightly browned, although don’t worry about the coloring so much, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes, soy sauce, and salt. Cook until the tomatoes break down, another 5-6 minutes. Before serving, mix in the cilantro.
Easy side dish to meatier Chinese dishes, reduce the amount of chili sauce to make a milder dish.