Chilli Bean Paste Eggplant
This is a simple Chinese-style wok dish of spicy chilli soy bean paste eggplants (辣豆漿茄子). Though eggplants (aka brinjal or aubergine) on their own taste quite bland (at least to me), they soak up the savoury soybean sauce like a sponge and go so well with steamed rice.
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Have you noticed the vibrant purple of this eggplant dish after they are cooked? If you add eggplant directly to the wok, they will lose their pretty purple and turn an unflattering brown shade instead. To retain the purple hue, you need to pre-cook the eggplants before stir-frying.
Retain the lovely purple hue of eggplants in this stir-fry:
For this recipe, I used the boiling method to pre-cook the eggplants: Bring a pot of water to a rapid boil, add eggplant pieces and weigh them down with either a drop lid or a slotted ladle as pictured above (note that the eggplants are under the ladle). Cook for 3 minutes. Check out this detailed tutorial for pre-cooking the eggplants using other methods (microwave or steam) to ‘lock-in’ the purple hue.
Drain and set aside the eggplants. They will still retain most of the lovely purple hue when you stir-fry them later.
This is the final eggplant dish stir-fried in chilli bean paste sauce. Enjoy!~