In English speaking cultures, people say “cheese” to get a nice smile in a photograph, in Chinese we say “qiezi”, 茄子, which means eggplant. I always wondered if this is based on the English tradition. ;-)
My mom doesn’t like eggplant so she doesn’t cook it often. I think one of the reasons might be that eggplant takes a long time to cook, and it absorbs a lot of oil. Most eggplant dishes I have had in Chinese restaurants are so greasy that I could almost feel the pimples popping out right after the meal. No wonder, in most restaurants they deep-fry eggplants first, then cook it again.
I wanted to cook a healthier version of an eggplant dish. So I decided to soften the eggplant by steaming it first then lightly braising it in garlic and soy sauce. It might lose a bit of shape, but at least I am not eating excessive amounts of oil. ;-)
Health Index: 3/5 (2 to 3 times a week)
Kitchen Gadgets: Frying Pan or Wok
¼ green pepper
¼ red pepper
2 cloves of garlic
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp corn starch
2 tsp soy sauce
2 tsp Chinese cooking wine
1 tsp sugar
⅓ cup water
1. Cut the eggplants into chunks and shred the peppers. Steam the eggplants for 5 minutes.
2. Preheat the stainless steel pan on a high heat, then turn down to medium heat and add the oil.
3. Add the steamed eggplants and stir fry for 2 minutes.
4. Crush the garlic and add it to the pan.
5. In a small bowl, mix the corn starch, soy sauce, cooking wine, sugar and the water, sprinkle it evenly over the top of the eggplant. 6. Add peppers.
7. Turn up to high heat, mix and stir for 3 minutes, done!