I’d be inclined not to bother with the salting of the eggplant…
Braised Eggplant with Sichuan Pepper and Chilli
3 medium eggplants (aubergines), peeled
2 tablespoons sea salt
4 tablespoons peanut oil
5cm (2in) piece ginger, finely sliced
3 garlic cloves, crushed
2 tablespoons brown sugar
½ cup shao hsing wine
½ cup water
2 tablespoons tamari
1 tablespoon brown rice vinegar
1 large red chilli, finely chopped
pinch Sichuan pepper and salt
1 large red chilli, finely sliced on the diagonal – optional
Cut eggplants into 2cm (3/4 in) slices, then cut each slice into 2.5 (1 in) cm strips. Sprinkle eggplant strips with salt and place on a tray in a single layer. Set aside for 1 hour.
Rinse eggplant in a colander under cold running water, then drain and pat dry with kitchen paper.
Heat peanut oil in a hot wok until surface seems to shimmer slightly. Add ginger, garlic and eggplant and stir-fry for 3 minutes. Add sugar and allow to caramelise for 30 seconds, stirring constantly to prevent eggplant from burning. Add shao hsing wine and stir-fry for 1 minute, then add water and cook for 2 minutes.
Add tamari, vinegar and chopped chilli and stir-fry for 2 minutes. Serve immediately, sprinkled with Sichuan pepper and salt, and garnished with sliced chilli if desired.
Serves 4-6 as part of a shared meal
Chef: Kylie Kwong