If there is one vegetable I never get tired of, it is definitely eggplant. I love eggplant and this chinese eggplant recipe is one of my favorite. It is a sweet and sour chinese dish, which is really simple to make. There is no way you can get it wrong. Chinese vegetable recipes are always very tasty and the amazing thing is that they don’t take much time to cook! Chinese don’t like spending hours cooking and waiting for the food. Instead, they like fast and healthy recipes, but they do take a long time at the table though. The eating does not take so much time though because Chinese believe in eating food while it is still hot. The thing is that after the eating, they like to talk a lot. In home, my mom used to take no more than 1 hour in cooking and we would all eat together. When done, we would continue staying at the table, talking about how our day went, all while drinking some chinese tea.
Anyway, let me know how you find this simple eggplant recipe!
1. Eggplant is a vegetable that seems to love oil! Doesn’t it sometimes happen to you that you try to cook eggplant and continuously have to add oil until it can finally cook, resulting in oily food? One old chinese trick I learnt from my mom is to add salt to the eggplant before cooking, keep for 10 minutes and finally squeezing out the water using your hands. This will remove most of the water from the eggplant and prevent the eggplant from absorbing too much oil.
2. Adding chopped garlic at the last step of the cooking gives the dish a more flavorful taste.
3. Always prepare your sauce mixture before cooking. Cooking chinese food is a really fast thing, and by habit, you should prepare your sauce mixture beforehand. This prevents the panicking and burning of food in the kitchen, especially for beginners!
4. You can use green bell pepper too. I went for red and yellow bell peppers because I wanted to add some color to the dish. Feel free to put any bell pepper of any color, it’s all up to you!
Sweet and Sour Eggplant with Bell Peppers recipe
1 round eggplant, peeled and cut in medium cubes
1 red bell pepper, cut into medium squares
1 yellow bell pepper, cut into medium squares
5 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tbsp light soy sauce
1/2 tsp dark soy sauce
1 tbsp rice vinegar
1/2 tsp cornstarch
1 tbsp sesame oil
1-2 tbsp white sugar (to taste)
1. Sprinkle some salt on the eggplant cubes and leave for at least 10 minutes.
2. In a small bowl, mix the light soy sauce, dark soy sauce, rice vinegar, cornstarch, sesame oil and white sugar to taste. Adjust the amount of sugar until you are satisfied with the sweet n sour taste.
3. Wash the eggplant cubes and drain. Use your hand to squeeze out as much water as possible from the eggplant cubes.
4. In a deep-frying pan, heat oil. Deep-fry the eggplant cubes until well browned. Drain on kitchen paper and keep.
5. Heat a non-stick pan/wok over medium heat until warm. Add 2 tbsps oil and allow to heat. Add half of the chopped garlic and stir-fry until light brown.
6. Add the red/yellow bell peppers and stir fry for 2-3 minutes.
7. Add the fried eggplant cubes. Mix.
8. Add the sauce mixture from step 2 and mix. Cook for 1-2 minutes.
9. Add the other half of the chopped garlic. Mix and give it a few quick stirs until you get the nice smell of the garlic.
10. Remove and serve with hot rice!