Spicy Stewed Eggplant with Minced Pork (魚香茄子)

This is another one of my favourites!

Traditionally, this dish is cooked with salted fish, which has a VERY distinct and strong flavour, and it’s definitely not everyone’s cup of tea. The main ingredients in this dish are eggplant, minced pork, salted fish, and chili. In my recipe, I use dried shrimp to keep that salty taste, and I have also added fermented black beans to add more flavour to the eggplant, since eggplant by itself can be kind of bland. Adding saltiness and spiciness definitely makes this a very special and popular dish on our table!

Ingredients

Share between 2-3 people, together with other dishes.

Dressing

  • 1.5 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 1.5 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 1.5 tsp chili bean paste (dao ban jian)
  • 1.5 tbsp Shaoxing wine
  • 1 tsp clear rice vinegar
  • 1 tsp corn starch
  • 1 to 1.5 tsp caster sugar

Pork marinade

  • 1 tsp dark soy sauce
  • 1 tsp light soy sauce
  • 1 tsp corn starch
  • 1 pinch of caster sugar
  • 1/8 tsp ground white pepper 
  • Dash of Shaoxing wine

Recipe Preparation

Put eggplant in a sieve and sprinkle it with a generous amount of fine sea salt. Toss eggplant thoroughly and then let it sit while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
 
Soak dried shrimp in warm water for about 10 min or until slightly softened. Roughly chop soaked dried shrimp into small pieces. Set aside.
 
Toss minced pork with all marinade ingredients until well combined. Set aside.
 
Heat about 1.5 tablespoons of oil in a wok on medium-high heat. Swirl the wok around, add eggplant, and stir with a wooden spatula until coated with oil. Keep stirring so that it doesn’t stick to the wok, cooking for about 3 minutes. Add 1/4 cup of water, keeping on medium to medium-high heat. Cover with lid and let it steam cook for about 5 minutes. Check once or twice and move the eggplant around to make sure that it is evenly cooked. They should be 90% cooked after 5 minutes. Cook for another 1-2 minutes if needed. Remove eggplants from the wok and set aside.
 
Prepare dressing by mixing all liquid ingredients in a small bowl. Have it ready next to the wok.
 
Heat a tablespoon of oil on medium-high to high heat and fry fermented black beans, garlic, chili, and dried shrimp until fragrant, about 1 minute. Splash in a bit of Shaoxing wine and let it sizzle for a moment. Add minced pork and use the spatula to break the pork lumps into smaller pieces. Keep stirring and return par-cooked eggplant to wok. Stir gently to combine, being careful not to break up the eggplant. Let it cook at high heat to steam off any excess liquid. Add marinade and pork and give it a quick stir. Remove wok from heat as soon as you have mixed in the marinade.
 
Serve immediately or warm with steamed rice or over wheat noodles with extra chili sauce if desired.

Leave a Reply