First things first.
This recipe can be vegetarian, so Ima classifying it that way, but…
even though it is quite good as a vegetarian main course or side dish, it is also, without a doubt, so much better when you add cooked ground pork.
Some things just needed to be said.
Anywho, go vegetarian or go for pork, I think you will find this a very nice new way to enjoy eggplant that dies not involve breading and tomato sauce and cheese.
•Olive or avocado oil
•1 eggplant, sliced 1/4 inch thick
•2 tbsp vegetable oil
•2 cups diced onion
•1 tbsp minced garlic
•1 lb ground pork (optional)
•2 tbsp lower sodium Tamari
•2 tbsp water
•1 tbsp Sherry Peppers Sauce*
•1 tbsp sweet chili sauce
•1-1/2 tbsp oyster sauce
•1-1/2 tsp Sambal Oelek
•1 tsp white sugar
•1/2 tsp black pepper
•1/2 tsp Aleppo pepper
•1/2 tsp Asian (toasted) sesame oil
*No Sherry Peppers Sauce? No Problem! Simply add a bit of decent sherry (none of that “cooking” stuff) and a dash or three of your fave hot sauce, to taste.
Slice the eggplant, arrange in a single layer on a tray, and salt both sides.
Set aside to rest for 30 to 90 minutes. You note the water beading to the surface of the slices? That is gonna mean you get less soggy, less bitter cooked eggplant. Good deal, right?
After the eggplant has rested, rinse each slice well under cool water to remove excess salt, then pat dry with a clean kitchen towel.
Cut the slated, sliced, then rinsed and dried eggplant into 1/4 inch chunks and heat two tablespoons of oil in a pan over medium high heat.
Add the eggplant chunks and cook, stirring often, for five minutes, until the eggplant begins to brown.
Remove the eggplant using a slotted spoon and set aside.
Add a bit more oil to the pan and add in the onion, cooking for eight or nine minutes, until tender.
Add the garlic and the ground pork – if you are using it – to the pan and continue to cook, breaking up the pork, until the meat has been thoroughly cooked.
Whisk the remaining ingredients together and add to the pan.
Stir in the eggplant cubes and cook, stirring often, until the sauce has thickened and most of any liquid in the pan has been absorbed, five to ten minutes longer.
Serve over rice with chopped fresh parsley or sliced green onion.
Our niece likes hers with additional sriracha as well, but you do what you like.