Sneaking in just under the deadline, here's my submission for the Eggplant Challenge over at Grown in Frederick.
Pardon the not-so-stellar photos - I can't believe I don't have a shot of the raw vegetable. Eggplants are so photogenic too... It's a pity.
But this dish is no slacker - and cooks up in a flash once all the ingredients are prepped. (As the poorly lit photos allude, I whipped this up late one evening after work - the anticipation of actually eating being far more a concern than the photos at that point...)
Tempeh stands in for the more traditional ground pork here* and the eggplant lends its sweetness to this moderately spicy little dish.
Eggplant and Tempeh in a Chili Garlic Sauce
(inspired by the recipe for Eggplant with Spicy Garlic Sauce over Rice in Chinese Rice and Noodles)
2 Tb. coconut oil
2 Tb. garlic, minced
2 Tb. fresh ginger root, minced
2 scallions, thinly sliced (white and green portions), plus more for serving
1 teaspoon chili garlic sauce
8 oz. tempeh
1 Lb. eggplant, peeled and sliced into 1 1/2 inch pieces
4 Tb. low sodium soy sauce
2 tsp. Shaoxing wine (or sherry)
2 tsp. granulated sugar
4 Tb. water (or stock)
1/2 Tb. cornstarch
Combine the soy sauce, Shaoxing wine, sugar, water, and cornstarch in a small bowl, whisking to incorporate the cornstarch smoothly. Set aside. Place a wok or large stir-fry pan over high heat, and when quite hot, add the oil followed by the garlic, ginger, and chili garlic sauce. Cook just until fragrant - only about 3o seconds. Add the crumbled tempeh and continue to stir fry until golden. Add the eggplant and cook until it is meltingly tender - about 10 minutes more - adjusting the heat as necessary to avoid burning. To the fully cooked eggplant and golden tempeh, add the soy sauce mixture (give it a stir just before adding to loosen any cornstarch that may have separated) and bring to a simmer. Cook, stirring frequently for a minute or two until the sauce has thickened to the desired consistency (more water/stock may be added to produce a thinner sauce). Serve hot over jasmine rice and garnish with additional sliced scallions.
Thanks to the gals over at Grown in Frederick for putting this challenge together!
*For another take on using tempeh as a substitute for minced meat in Asian cooking see this post which put the notion in my mind...