Szechuan Eggplant

What you need

2 japanese eggplants
Ginger (approx 1")
5 cloves garlic
1 tbspn black bean paste
3 red jalapenos or analogous pepper
2 tbspn Soy sauce
1 tspn salt
1 tspn sugar
1/2 cup water
Peanut oil
2 green onions
2 tspsn sesame oil
1 tblspn cornstarch

How to do it

Wash eggplant. Cut into 3" strips, thinner than your finger (if you are using regular eggplant and not japanese, you'll need to salt them and let them sit for a bit to take out the bitterness). Heat 1/2 cup peanut oil until very hot, then reduce to medium flame. Cook eggplant until soft and moist (until it starts to brown a little bit, stir only occasionally).

While eggplant is cooking, chop garlic and ginger into medium chunks (slice and then halve), and chop jalapenos into rings, and put into a bowl.
While eggplant is cooking, mix soy sauce, salt, sugar, water in a separate bowl.

Remove eggplant from heat onto paper towel. De-oil. Let sit. Dump most of the oil from the pan, but leave enough to stir fry with.
Cook ginger, garlic, jalapenos with black bean paste until they smell nice and the stuff seems soaked with the paste.
Add bowl of soy sauce etc. Add eggplant. Let cook.

While cooking, chop green onions into smallish rings. Mix cornstarch with 2 tblspns water in a bowl.

When liquid starts to disappear from cooking mixture, add green onions. Add sesame oil. Add cornstarch mixture. Cook until the liquid is a bit thick and saucy. Eat.

Thoughts: maybe use less salt? Don't rush; this recipe seems to want you to let everything cook longer than you think necessary, so don't be afraid to let things fry while you do something else.

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