Today I cooked this spicy aubergine and minced pork dish and I am so excited to share the recipe with you. This dish is also known as spicy Szechuan eggplant. It is a very simple and delicious dish that is very common in Chinese households. For me, I find that it is a real comfort food and I hope you will too.
To cook this dish, you begin by stir frying the minced pork then add in the aubergines and braise for a total of 15 minutes. I am aware that some recipes call for the aubergines to be deep fried first. You can do this but I find that this method usually results in the dish being too oily with a layer of oil over it. Personally, I do not like that and I think that by skipping that step the taste of the dish is not adversely affected at all. Who likes a dish swimming in oil right?
The key to the dish is Chilli Bean Sauce. You should be able to find it in Oriental supermarkets or even the “World Foods” sections in most big supermarkets. If this condiment still eludes you, you can try substituting it with some crushed chilli flakes but if you can, get this condiment as it really makes a change to the flavour of the dish. I also added in fish sauce, Shaoxing rice wine and light soy sauce. You may think the strong smell and flavour of the fish sauce might overpower the other flavours of the dish, but it does not. Instead it adds just the right amount of punch and works well with the other sauces to balance the flavours of this dish.
Prep Time: 10 minutes / Cooking Time 15 minutes
1 Aubergine (cut into 2 inch batons)
200gm Minced Pork
200gm Minced Pork
1 Tbsp Ginger (about 1” ginger cut and diced)
2 cloves Garlic (diced)
2 Tbsp Fish Sauce
2 Tbsp Shaoxing Rice Wine
2 Tbsp Light Soy Sauce
1 Tbsp Chilli Bean Sauce (according to taste, reduce amount if it’s too spicy)
*¼ tsp Salt (optional - *refer to additional recipe notes)
Dash of White Pepper
2 Tbsp Cooking Oil
*½ tsp Cornflour (optional - *refer to additional recipe notes)
1 Stalk Scallion (sliced finely for garnishing)
1 small red chilli (sliced finely for garnishing)
1. Heat cooking oil over high heat in a wok. Once the oil is hot, add in diced ginger, stir fry quickly to bring out the fragrance then add in the garlic. Again, stir fry quickly for a few seconds to bring out the fragrance. Before the ginger and garlic get too browned, quickly add in the minced pork, stir frying and breaking up the minced meat as you go along.
2. Stir fry until the pork has got some colour and some nice browned bits on it. Now, lower the heat slightly and add in the fish sauce, Shaoxing rice wine, light soy sauce and pepper. Stir fry everything together evenly before adding in the water. Add in the chilli bean paste. Stir through and leave the dish to simmer for about 10 minutes. If you are adding cornflour, you can add that in now.
3. The aubergine should be nicely softened by now, taste and add in the salt if required. Increase the heat and bring the dish to a boil, add in some of the diced scallions and chilli just before switching off the heat. Remove from heat and dish out, garnishing with the remaining scallions and chillies.
Additional Recipe Notes
*Note that all the sauces and condiments (especially from the chilli bean sauce) make the dish salty enough so you can omit the salt if you find the dish is already tasty enough for you.