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A popular Szechuan dish is eggplant cooked with chiles and garlic. Try to use long, thin Asian eggplants, not the big, globe-like eggplants which tend to be more common in the United States. Asian eggplants have no bitterness and have a sweeter, more delicate flavor.
¬ cup vegetable broth 1 tablespoon soy sauce 1 tablespoon Chinese black vinegar or good balsamic vinegar 1 tablespoon brown sugar 1 tablespoon chili oil ¬ teaspoon red pepper flakes 2 tablespoons peanut or vegetable oil 2 to 3 Asian eggplants, cut into thin, 1-inch-long strips 2 scallions, minced 1 tablespoon fresh minced ginger 2 garlic cloves, minced
In a small bowl, mix together the vegetable broth, soy sauce, vinegar, brown sugar, chili oil, and red pepper flakes. Set aside. Place a wok over high heat until a drop of water sizzles on contact. Add the peanut oil and swirl to coat the wok. Add the eggplants to the wok, and stir-fry for 2 to 3 minutes, until the outsides become golden brown. Turn down the heat to medium-high, and add the scallions, ginger, and garlic. Stir-fry for about 30 seconds, and then add the broth mixture; toss the vegetables for 2 to 3 minutes until they are coated with the sauce. Simmer the vegetables for 2 to 3 minutes, allowing the eggplant to absorb the sauce.