China - Yu Xiang Qiezi

The ultimate eggplant sichuan umami bomb

Aneri's note: I’ve arrived at the big kahuna - CHINA! Truth be told, I used to not like Chinese food, but that was because I wasn’t really eating good Chinese food. Greasy Chinese take-out is not authentic! Once you get to eat at more high quality Chinese restaurants, the food is incredible. Now it’s one of my favorite world cuisines!

 

Yu Xiang Qiezi

Difficulty level (1-10): 8


Yu Xiang Qiezi is the ultimate Sichuan umami bomb. Like seriously the umami detonated in my mouth and I couldn’t stop myself from eating more. I ordered this same dish from a local restaurant and I have to say, this recipe is better! In China you can find this dish served with or without pork, but of course this is vegan!


Ingredients

Chinese eggplants- 2

Oil - 1/4 cup (for frying)

Salt - 1 tsp

Cornstarch - 1/4 cup

Ginger - 1 TB, minced

Green onions - 2, sliced

Garlic - 2 cloves, minced

Bean paste (doubanjiang) - 1 TB

Dried Chili - 2

Rice vinegar - 3 TB

Soy sauce - 2 TB

Sugar - 2 TB

Mushroom broth - 1/2 cup


1. Chop eggplant into long sticks of about 2-inch (5-cm) long and 1/4-inch (6-mm) thick.

2. Place eggplant in a large bowl and add water to cover. Add 1 teaspoon salt, mix well. Place a pot lid on top to keep the eggplant under water for 15 minutes. Drain and pat dry.

3. Add all the sauce ingredients into a bowl. Stir to mix well.

4. Sprinkle eggplant with cornstarch and mix by hand, until eggplant is evenly coated with with a thin layer of cornstarch.

5. Add oil to a large nonstick skillet and heat over medium high heat until hot. Spread eggplant across the bottom of the skillet without overlapping (you might need to cook in 2 or 3 batches).

6. Fry the eggplant one side at a time until all the surfaces are charred and the eggplant turns soft, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer to a plate.

7. Add doubanjiang to the pan to continue cooking for 1 min. Add garlic, chopped peppers, white green onion, dried chili peppers and ginger to stir-fry for the aroma. Stir a few times to release the fragrance.

8. Stir the sauce again to completely dissolve the cornstarch, then pour into the pan. Stir until the sauce thickens. Return the eggplant to the pan and quickly stir to mix everything well.

9. Turn to medium heat and mix well again, adding green onions to top. Transfer everything to a plate immediately.

10. Serve hot over steamed rice as a main.


This recipe was influenced by China sichuan food and Omnivores Cookbook.


 

Like this recipe? Try this with Ketupat from Brunei!

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