Eggplant with Pork (hongshao qiez)
April 23, 2010 § 6 Comments
One of my favorite dishes from Mom was her eggplant and ground pork dish. Okay, there are a lot of favorite dishes of Mom’s but this one is high on the list. I don’t, unfortunately, have her recipe but recall some of the ingredients she used. The closest that I could find is the hongshao qiez recipe in Mrs. Chiang’s Szechuan Cookbook (out of print). It was pretty close to Mom’s, woohoo!
We’ve been eating a lot more veggies lately, partly fueled by signing on with a local CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) farm. Not only are we getting “ultra” fresh organic locally grown veggies, we are also supporting our local farmers. Win-win! If you’re interested in knowing more about CSA, check out Mike’s post here about his visit to Suzie’s Farm. Suzie’s Farm produce can be found at many SD Farmer’s Markets, like the one we go to in Poway.
So on the topic of CSA produce, this week, we got some wonderful large spring onions. Wow, these were nice and quite large. Perfect for the eggplant dish! Serve this wonderful combination of ground pork and eggplant in spicy sauce over hot steamy white rice, ahhhh, a comfort food for me! The Mister never had my Mom’s version but he was quite pleased with this version. He liked the heat on this, just a bit of kick, nothing mouth numbing. But as usual, adjust the heat to your liking.
I added black bean garlic paste to this because my Mom loved fermented black beans and she liked it in her stir-fry. If you don’t like fermented black bean, by all means leave it out. The dish will still be awesome.
Here’s my version of Mrs. Chiang’s recipe.
- 1/2 lb ground pork
- 3 Tbsp soy sauce
- 1 Tbsp sesame oil
- 3-5 scallions (I used 2 very large ones with probably equalled to 4 regular sized ones from the store)
- ~1 lb Chinese or Japanese eggplants, cut into 1 inch pieces
- 8 cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped into little pieces, about the size of rice grains (almost a whole head of garlic)
- 1 inch fresh ginger, peeled and chopped to size of matchstick head
- 5~5 Tbsp cooking oil (I use Canola)
- 2 Tbsp hot chili garlic sauce (adjust to preferred heat level)
- 1 tsp black bean garlic sauce
- 1 Tbsp granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 2/3 – 1 C low sodium chicken broth (or you can use water)
Chop cleaned scallions, both green and white parts, crosswise into 1/8 inch pieces.
Combine pork, soy sauce, half of chopped scallions, mix thoroughly. Set aside.
Heat wok or pan on high flame for 15 seconds. Pour in oil. Oil is ready at first sign of tiny bubbles and a few small wisps of smoke. Toss in garlic and ginger and stir-fry for 30 seconds. This means using your wok shovel or cooking utensil to stir them around in the oil constantly to prevent burning.
Add hot chili garlic and black bean garlic sauces and stir-fry for another 30 seconds.
Add ground pork mixture and cook for 2 minutes. Break up the pork to prevent big lumps of meat.
Add eggplant and stir-fry everything for about 4 minutes, heat still on high. Sprinkle sugar and salt over mixture and stir-fry for another 2 minutes.
Pour in chicken broth and the remaining half of scallions and stir together. Once the broth comes to a boil, cover the wok and let the eggplant cook for 10-15 minutes on high heat, until the eggplant is soft and most of the liquid has been absorbed. Check the liquid level occasionally so it doesn’t become completely dry. Add 1/4 cup at a time as needed. Here’s the eggplant about 5 minutes into cooking. Looking good!
I prefer the eggplant to be soft but still have shape and not mushy or falls completely apart when stirred. Serve over steamed rice.
Postscript: Here’s a picture of the chili garlic and black bean garlic sauces that I used. These can be found in most Asian stores and sometimes in larger grocery stores.