Sticky Chinese Eggplant with Garlic

We are obsessed with eggplant!  It can be tricky to cook and if not done right can be awful and tough.  We’ve outlined a tip that we suggest you follow to ensure the eggplant doesn’t soak up too much oil and this technique will help you get that crispy on the outside and soft on the inside.  

Ingredients:

  • 2 eggplants, chopped into 3-4cm pieces
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 tsp cornflower
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp dark soy sauce
  • 1 tsp stevia or honey
  • 2 Tbsp vegetable or peanut oil
  • 2 tsp grated ginger
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced

Directions:

1. Place the chopped eggplant into a large bowl or pot and cover with cold water.  Add 1tsp salt & mix.  Use a weight to keep the eggplant submerged.  This maybe a smaller pot lid or a plate.  Leave to soak for 15 minutes then drain and pat dry.  This step is very important.  If you skip this, the eggplant will soak up all the oil and become gluey when cooked.

2. While the eggplant is soaking combine both soy sauces, stevia and 1 tsp of the cornflour.  Mix well until the cornflour and stevia is dissolved.

3. When the eggplant has been drained and patted dry, place in a large bowl with the remaining 2 tsp of cornflour and using your hands, toss the eggplant until evenly coated.  Now add 1 Tbsp of the oil and mix again.

4. To cook the eggplant, we prefer to use the BBQ.  This gives a great smokey taste and crisps the outside up nicely.  You could use a griddle pan but make sure to cook the eggplant in a single layer.  Once the BBQ is up to heat (smoking hot), add the eggplant pieces and cook for 5 minutes on each side.  You can tell the eggplant is cooked enough when it becomes really soft to touch.  If still firm when turning with the tongs, leave on for a few more minutes.

5. Add the remaining 1 Tbsp oil to a large pan over a med-high heat.  Add the garlic and ginger and cook until fragrant.  Now add the eggplant and reduce the heat to medium.  Add the sauce, 3 Tbsp water and gently stir the eggplant being careful not to break up the pieces.  The sauce should thicken really quickly.  Taste and adjust seasoning if required.

6. Serve warm as a side dish or piled on top of rice or noodles.