Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Eggplant with ground beef

I made this the other night on a whim and am quite proud of how it turned out. Unfortunately, I don't have any photos, but it's pretty simple. Every other time I tried to make anything with eggplants in it, I always messed up. This time, I soaked the eggplants in salt water for over 30mins and it turned out great!

1 large eggplant cut into 1-2 inch long triangles, and maybe 1/2 inch thick
1/2 lb ground beef
dark soy sauce
rice wine
dried red chili peppers
Chinese chili sauce
1 clove of garlic, thinly sliced
1 chopped green onion

Soak the cut up eggplant pieces in salt water for a while. I just let it soak and forgot about it for at least 30 minutes, maybe an hour.

In a big wok, heat up the oil and toss in the garlic.
Stir fry the ground beef until it is brown. Make sure to break it up so that it is in little bits. Add the rice wine while cooking.

Strain the eggplant. Put the eggplant in the wok and stir, making sure that all the pieces are coated in oil and mixed in with the ground beef.

Then add the soy sauce, chili peppers, and chili pepper sauce. Stir it so the sauce gets on everything. You should be doing all of this on medium heat.

Now turn the heat down to low and put the wok cover on top to let it steam.
Steam until the eggplants are soft.

Add the chopped green onions before serving.

As always, I'm terrible about giving exact measurements, because I think so much of Chinese cooking is by look and feel. Also, I can't say that this is an exact recipe from my family, but the taste is quite similar to what I remember eating and really enjoying. Particularly how the eggplants turned out. This way, the eggplants should have soaked up the flavors of the sauce without getting super oily. It's a spicy and heavy in flavor! I think pretty much characterizes the Hunan province cooking I grew up with.

I might make this as a part of our menu over Christmas break in Dallas!

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