Szechuan Eggplant

This is maybe my favorite eggplant dish.  I really do love eggplant and one would normally use  long slender Chinese eggplant for this, but on Monday I had purchased two large eggplant, the ones you commonly find in your local supermarket.  It being Sunday now, and still having not used them, I decided a Szechuan eggplant dish would go just fine with my crispy duck.

2 Large eggplant, or 4-5 Chinese eggplant
2 Tbsp oil
kosher salt
Cut eggplant into small 3/4" x 3" pieces.  You can peel the eggplant if you like, but I like the skin.  Traditionally, the eggplant would be deep fried, but that seems excessive to me.  In the past, I've boiled it and today, I decided to roast it until it's soft.  Place the eggplant onto a large baking pan.  Drizzle with the oil and sprinkle with a little kosher salt.  Roast at 400F for 10-15 minutes, or until eggplant is softened, but not overcooked.  Set aside until ready to use.  Cover if you are not using immediately so they do not dry out.
1/4 Cup ground pork
1-2 Tbsp chili sauce, I used a combination of the chili sauce I made the other day and purchased broad bean hot sauce to make about 1 tbsp.You should decide on how much chili sauce to use depending on how hot the chili sauce is.
1 Tbsp minced garlic
1 Tbsp minced ginger
1 Cup chicken stock
1 Tbsp Soy
1 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp vinegar
2 tsp corn starch mixed with 2 tsp water
1 Tbsp scallions, thinly sliced

Heat 1 Tbsp of oil in a large wok.  Cook ground pork and chili sauce together until pork is almost fully cooked.  Add the garlic and ginger and cook until fragrant.  Then add the eggplant, stock, soy, and sugar.  Cook the eggplant for several minutes, with the sauce boiling, until the eggplant is fully cooked through.  Then add the sesame oil and vinegar and thicken with the corn starch mixture.  Serve with scallions sprinkled on top.


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