March 18, 2013

Szechuan Eggplant Recipe - Sichuan Eggplant Recipe - Step by Step

Eggplant cooked the Chinese way in a delicious szechuan sauce. Szechuan Eggplant is a very quick side dish for vegetable fried rice or noodles.
Making a side dish for Vegetable Fried Rice (or noodles) usually leaves me in a cloud of flour dust, crankiness due to the heat of the oil I need to deep fry stuff in (you know, for manchurians and such) and the humidity in Singapore doesn't help matters much. While I would definitely agree that a finished Gobi Manchurian or Chilli Paneer is a thing of beauty and deliciousness, it's not something I would make often simply because of the number of steps and the chances of messing up the kitchen and the final dish.

schezwan eggplant-sichuan eggplant-szechuan eggplant recipe

This Eggplant Schezwan Recipe is a boon on such days. It's so very easy to put together and tastes great and takes all of 20 mins to cook up. If you are not a fan of eggplant, may I take a few mins and try to convert you? No? Ok then, try Mushroom Schezwan or Tofu Schezwan or ooohh, a Paneer Schezwan. Pretty much any vegetable can be customized and made using the same basic recipe for Schezwan sauce that I have given below.

schezwan eggplant-sichuan eggplant-szechuan eggplant recipe

Hungy yet? Ok, on to the Sichuan Eggplant Recipe now!

SCHEZWAN EGGPLANT RECIPE

Preparation time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes
Serves 2-3
Recipe idea from: Food Network

Ingredients:
  • 1 eggplant cut into 1" wide wedges
  • 5-6 shallots or pearl onions
  • 1 tsp of minced garlic
  • 1 tsp of red red chilli sauce (Sriracha, Maggi, anything works) or chilli flakes
  • 2 tbsp of soya sauce
  • 1 tsp of regular white vinegar
  • 1 tsp of cornflour or corn starch
  • 1/2 tsp of brown sugar (or jaggery)
  • 1 small bunch of coriander leaves / cilantro
  • 1/2 tsp of black pepper powder
  • 2 tbsp of sesame oil (Indian gingelly oil) or peanut oil
  • 1 cup water

How to Make Schezwan Eggplant:
  • Heat oil in a wide pan and when it starts to smoke, add the eggplant in 2 batches, frying until sticky and brown. Add salt and pepper to this, drain and set aside
  • In the same pan, add a few more drops of oil if required and fry the shallots until soft. To this, add the red chilli sauce (or flakes) and minced garlic. Saute for a few seconds
  • Meanwhile, mix the soya sauce, vinegar, corn starch, sugar, and some salt to make the Schezwan Sauce
  • Add this to the shallot mixture and cook on medium-high heat until it starts to bubble
  • Tip in the fried eggplant and mix well until the sauce coats the eggplant
  • Garnish with chopped coriander leaves and serve hot with fried rice or noodles

Step by Step Pictures to Make Schezwan Eggplant

1. Heat oil and fry the eggplant in 2-3 batches
schezwan eggplant-sichuan eggplant-szechuan eggplant recipe

... until soft, browned, and sticky. Add salt and pepper, drain and set aside.
schezwan eggplant-sichuan eggplant-szechuan eggplant recipe

2. In same pan, add more oil if needed, and fry the shallots.
schezwan eggplant-sichuan eggplant-szechuan eggplant recipe

3. Add chilli sauce and minced garlic and saute some more.
schezwan eggplant-sichuan eggplant-szechuan eggplant recipe

4. Meanwhile, make the Schezwan Sauce by mixing the corn starch, soya sauce, vinegar, brown sugar, and some salt
schezwan eggplant-sichuan eggplant-szechuan eggplant recipe
schezwan eggplant-sichuan eggplant-szechuan eggplant recipe

5. Add water to the shallot mixture and top off with the Schezwan Sauce
schezwan eggplant-sichuan eggplant-szechuan eggplant recipe
schezwan eggplant-sichuan eggplant-szechuan eggplant recipe

6. When it boils and starts bubbling, add the eggplant
schezwan eggplant-sichuan eggplant-szechuan eggplant recipe

7. Mix well and cook through until sauce coats the eggplant fully.
schezwan eggplant-sichuan eggplant-szechuan eggplant recipe

Notes:
  • You can deep-fry the eggplant until crisp and proceed with the recipe. If served immediately, this will give the dish a nice texture
  • You can use spring onions (scallions, green onions) instead of the shallots for a different flavour
  • Use the Asian eggplant for best results. They are long and purple. If not available where you live, use the regular fat eggplant or smaller purple brinjal
  • You can add some minced ginger along with the garlic. For some reason, I felt like omitting ginger so I did