Spicy Eggplant

This one may surprise you.

It certainly did one of our nephews who proclaimed “I never knew I liked eggplant!” while helping himself to seconds.

As a plus, this tasty little dish is just as nice as a vegetarian side or main course as it it here, with finely chopped leftover Korean-Style Beef Short Ribs added in at the end.

I usually serve it over yellow rice with chopped scallions and basil.

•1 eggplant, sliced
•Vegetable oil
•2 cups diced onion
•2 cups coleslaw mix
•8 oz sliced ‘shrooms
•1 tbsp minced garlic
•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
•1 tsp basil

•Ground pork

*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 60 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 and cut into quarter inch cubes.

Note: this salt and rest and rinse method works a treat for classic eggplant dishes like eggplant Parmesan.

Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat until almost smoking. Cook and stir the eggplant cubes until they begin to brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove the eggplant with a slotted spoon, and set aside.

Heat 2 more tablespoons of oil in the skillet over medium-high heat, and cook and stir the onions, coleslaw mix, and ‘shrooms for ten minutes or so, until the onion and cabbage is tender and the ‘shrooms browned a bit on the edges. Stir in the garlic, and cook and stir an additional 30 seconds.

Note: if you are adding ground pork, go ahead and cook it with the onion, cabbage, and ‘shrooms, cooking, and breaking up the pork into small pieces, until the pork is cooked through.

Add the remaining ingredients, except for the sesame oil and basil and stir to combine.

Return the eggplant, lower the heat, and allow the vegetables and sauce to simmer until almost all the liquid has been absorbed, about 5 minutes.

Drizzle the sesame oil and basil over the dish, and give one final brief stir to combine before serving.


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