Introduction: SPICY GARLIC EGGPLANT WITH SHIITAKE MUSHROOMS (Yǔ Xiānggū Yú Xiāng Qiézi)
This recipe was supposed to be called "Chinese Spicy Garlic Eggplant With Shiitake Mushrooms," but I could not find Chinese Eggplants anywhere. I substituted Baby Eggplants from the Garden State of New Jersey (my home state; we used to grow eggplants there), but somehow "New Jersey Spicy Garlic Eggplant with Shiitake Mushrooms" doesn't sound quite right. Consequently, this recipe will simply be known as "Spicy Garlic Eggplant with Shiitake Mushrooms" and I hope that you will enjoy it as much as I have tonight.
I have also used a couple of tablespoons of Sake in the recipe instead of Chinese Rice Wine, and served the dish with Sake. As you may know, Sake is considered to be a traditional Japanese drink. While it is often used in religious ceremonies, and as a toast to good friends, the history of Sake can be traced back to China over 4,000 years ago.
Step 1: INGREDIENTS (2 Servings)
- 1/4 cup Low-sodium Soy Sauce
- 1 TBS Oyster Sauce
- 2 TBS Dark Balsamic Vinegar (or Chinese Black Vinegar)
- 2 TBS Sake (or Chinese Rice Wine, or even dry Sherry)
- 1 TBS Splenda
- 1/2 tsp Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
- 1 tsp Iodized Sea Salt
- 1 & 1/2 lbs Fresh Eggplant, trimmed and cut into wedges (see Preparation)
- 1/3 lb Fresh Shiitake Mushrooms, stems removed (do not use); caps cut in half (large caps can be cut into 3rd s or quartered) (see Preparation)
- 6 Cloves Garlic (more or less); peeled and minced
- 1 Piece of Ginger Root, about 3" long, peeled & grated
- 2 TBS Coconut Oil
- 1 tsp Sesame Oil
- 1/4 Cup minced Green Onions
Step 2: PREPARATION
- Wash and trim the eggplants; cut them into wedges approximately 2" thick and 3" long; set aside.
- Cut off stems of the Shiitake Mushrooms and throw them away (or save them to make a broth at a later date). Carefully wipe the mushroom caps clean with a damp paper towel and cut them in half (if the caps are really large, you can cut them into 3 or 4 pieces); set aside
- Wash and dry the green onions; finely chop them (including some of the tops); prepare enough for 1/4 cup; set aside
- Peel the garlic and mince it over a small dish. Peel the Ginger Root and grate it, adding it to the dish with the minced garlic and set aside.
- Stir the soy sauce, oyster sauce, vinegar, Sake, splenda, crushed red pepper flakes and salt into a small bowl or measuring cup and set aside.
Step 3: DIRECTIONS
- Bring about 1 cup of water to a boil in a flat bottom wok fitted with a bamboo steamer base. Place the Eggplant wedges in the steamer base and cover with the steamer lid. (Do not overcrowd the steamer base; if all of the eggplant will not fit on the steamer base without overlapping, you will have to steam them in two batches (add more water to the Wok if needed). Steam the eggplant until tender when the skin is pierced with a sharp knife; about 5 minutes, maybe less. DO NOT OVERCOOK.
- Transfer the steamed eggplant to a platter; discard the water and wipe the wok dry; reheat it over medium-high heat.
- Add Coconut Oil, garlic, ginger, and mushrooms; stir-fry for about 10 seconds (stir constantly; you don't want to burn the garlic)
- Add steamed Eggplant; stir-fry for about 1 minute (add another TBS of Coconut Oil if necessary).
- Stir in the reserved sauce and cook until the sauce thickens; about 3 or 4 minutes.
- Remove from heat; drizzle with Sesame Oil and garnish with green onions.
NOTE: Since I intend to serve this dish over some rice, I cooked a cup of Lundberg's Wild & Whole Grain Brown Rice a little earlier.
Step 4: TIME TO EAT . . .
Fill your plate, fill the Tokkuri with Sake, and Enjoy your dinner!!!
Step 5: NUTRITION
Total recipe has an estimated 548 calories and 94 carbohydrates; per serving, about 274 calories and 47 carbs (EXCLUDING, OF COURSE, THE SAKE)!!!
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