There are many ways to cook eggplants, the difference of this recipe is that the eggplants are pre-treated with salt. This can prevent the eggplants from getting burnt quickly.
Sprinkle some salt on the eggplant cubes, and make sure the eggplant is evenly coated with salt. Set aside for 30 minutes, then squeeze the excess water out of eggplant cubes.
Mix the all-purpose flour, five spice powder and egg in another large bowl until the texture of the batter is thick and even. Pour the eggplant cubes into the batter and mix well. You might need to adjust the flour or add a little bit water so make sure the batter is not too thick or thin. This step is optional, you can start frying right away after squeeze the excess water out of the eggplants. But I’d like to use the batter to coat eggplants for a better taste, it also could prevent the eggplants absorb too much oil.
Now, it’s cooking time! Put the vegetable oil in a wok or pan on medium heat, bring the oil to 350°F. Place the eggplants in the oil and fry for 3 minutes or until they’re golden. Do not stir eggplants until the batter becomes solid. Drain the eggplant cubes and set aside.
Put the chopped green onion, garlic and dried chili in the wok/pan with the remaining oil, keep stirring until them fragrant. Add tomato cubes and stir fry for 30 seconds. The heat should be high enough to dry the tomato, otherwise the tomato will turn to be watery. Add fried eggplant cubes and 1 tablespoon light soy sauce, stir fry for 2 minutes. And it’s done!
Where to get the ingredients in this dry-braised eggplants recipe?
Most of the ingredients could be found in local grocery stores. You might be interested in finding following ingredients or their alternatives.
There are many different types of chilies. The one I used in this recipe is mild to add some spicy flavor but not hot like ghost pepper. If you can’t find it in the grocery, Amazon is the best place to go. It looks like this:
Light soy sauce
Soy sauce is one of the main ingredients in Chinese cooking. I know some people try to avoid soy sauce in their cooking due to its production process and high sodium contained. Some other alternatives include Worcestershire sauce, organic Liquid Aminos, fish sauce (amount needs to be reduced at least half if use to substitute the soy source).
If you read this article, you should already know that five-spice powder can be customized. You might want to try out different types and find your favorite one. Here are some choices: