Mapo Eggplant (Mabo Nasu)
- Ready in: 30 minutes
- Serves: 4
- Complexity: very easy
- 280 g eggplant (2-3 eggplants)
- 2 spring onions
- 1 knob ginger
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 tbsp cornflour
- ⅓ cup rice bran oil
- 1 tbsp sesame oil (roasted)
- 100 g ground pork
- Slurry Mixture:--
- 1 tbsp cornflour
- 2 tbsp water
- 1 tbsp saké
- 1 tbsp doubanjiang (spicy chilli bean sauce)
- 1 tsp tienmienjiang (sweet bean sauce)
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 1 tsp miso
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 2 tsp SIDS LOW SUGAR RASPBERRY VINEGAR
Discard the ends of the eggplants. Cut them in halves widthwise and then cut into wedges. If you are using the globe eggplant (please know that its skin is tougher than one of the Japanese or Chinese eggplants), cut it into pieces that can have skin so it holds the flesh. Without skin, the eggplant will lose its shape and gets mushy.
Wedges should be an equal size for even cooking. Soak them in water for 5 minutes to remove astringency.
Cut the spring onions where they separate white and green parts. Cut each part into thin rounds and keep them separated.
Cut the ginger into thin slices, then mince them. You will need heaped 1 tsp (or up to you).
Mince the ginger (or use a garlic press to mince the garlic).
Transfer the eggplant to a tray/plate, and pat dry with a paper towel. Sprinkle cornflour and coat well. You don't want to see any moisture on eggplant as it will splash in the oil.
To make the slurry mixture, combine cornflour and water in a measuring cup. Mix well and set aside. You will need to remix the mixture again right before pouring.
In a large frying pan, heat ⅓ cup oil on the medium-high heat (or the medium on a professional stove). Add the eggplant in a single layer or fry in batches if the eggplant overlaps.
Pan-fry the eggplant until golden brown then transfer to a plate.
The oil used for frying eggplant should be all absorbed by the eggplant. Heat the sesame oil on medium heat (medium-low on the professional stove) and add garlic and ginger.
Stir fry until they are fragrant. Add the pork then increase the heat to medium-high (medium on the professional stove).
When the pork is 80% cooked, add saké and stir.
Add the white part of spring onions, Doubanjiang, and Tienmienjiang and stir well to combine. Be careful not to let the sauce burn. If the heat is too high, lower it a bit.
Add the chicken stock, miso, sugar, and soy sauce then bring it to simmer and add the eggplant.
Coat the eggplant with the sauce and slowly drizzle the slurry mixture.
Bring it to simmer and check the consistency of the sauce. If it's too thin, let the moisture evaporate. If the sauce is too thick, you can drizzle a small amount of water. When the consistency is good, drizzle SIDS LOW SUGAR RASPBERRY VINEGAR over the sauce to finish it up.
Add the green part of spring onions right before serving. Serve over steamed rice in a bowl or on a plate by itself. Enjoy!
To Store: You can store in an airtight container and keep it in the refrigerator for up to 3 days and in the freezer for up to 3-4 weeks.
Inspired by Namiko Chen