Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Szechwan Eggplant

I've been on a sabbatical of sorts from the Internet, work, volunteering, cooking and a routine. Instead I've been going through a huge transition from a living a rural lifestyle to immersing myself in both an urban and nautical environment... with a major overhaul regarding my life in general and my priorities. One of the outcomes is spending less time on the Internet and blogging. I will continue to blog, but less often. Read more on my other blog.

Although I was feeling unusually tired last night and it was getting late, I really wanted to be in the kitchen cooking us up something really tasty, having shopped at one of our local Asia grocers earlier in the day after a wonderful bike ride along the river and rose garden and working up an appetite.

So while my husband put rice on to steam and set the table, I made us Szechwan Eggplant from The Gluten-Free Vegetarian Kitchen by Donna Klein, on page 103. It was very tasty and fairly hot. I used 1-1/2 tablespoons of "Rooster (chili-garlic) Sauce" for the Chinese chili paste. It was simple to prepare and we were enjoying our meal within 45-minutes of making a decision to eat in or eat out. Eating in was a far better choice!

1 eggplant (1 lb) - I buy the long-style and cut into cubes, sprinkle with salt (optional) and drain for 30 minutes.
1 Tbsp peanut oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup vegetable broth, low-sodium
12 fresh shitake mushrooms, stemmed and chopped
4 scallions (white and green parts), thinly sliced
1 Tbsp Chinese chili paste, or less to taste
2 Tbsp tamari sauce (gluten-free)
1 Tbsp dry sherry
1/2 tsp toasted (dark) sesame oil
1/2 tsp ground ginger
3 cups hot cooked brown or white rice
salt and pepper to taste


If salted, rinse the salt off the eggplant with cold-running water and pat dry with a paper towel.

In a large, deep non-stick skillet with a lid, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add the eggplant and cook, stirring and tossing constantly, until softened - about 4 minutes.

Add the garlic and stir constantly for 1 minute.

Remove from heat and add the remaining ingredients, except for the rice, salt and pepper.

Return to heat and let come to a brisk simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook covered, until the eggplant is tender, about 15 minutes. Stir occasionally.

Serve over rice. Salt and pepper to taste.