Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Spicy Eggplants with Minced Pork

It has been several months since I've cooked anything. Literally, MONTHS. You've probably noticed that for the past few months I've only been blogging about restaurants (compare my "Dining Out" page versus my "Cooking" or "Baking" page lol).

I totally miss cooking though (and baking). I usually go on a hiatus when its close to exam time, and recently, my hectic work schedule also played a factor. I've traveled quite a bit too during the summer, so that's another reason. Oh and another reason would be that I only get to cook when I'm over at my boyfriend's place during the weekend (usually Sundays at that). Anyway, those are all the reasons. I have no idea why I feel the need to explain/justify myself but nonetheless, last Sunday, I decided it was time to get my "cook on" again. 

One of the dishes I made last Sunday was this Spicy Eggplants with Minced Pork (魚香茄子) from Christine's Recipes. I totally love her blog. Why? Because she has many authentic Chinese dishes with recipes that are written in ENGLISH, which is VERY IMPORTANT TO ME =). I've been following her blog for quite a while now and there are so many dishes I want to try to make from her site.

The name of the actual recipe on her blog is "Spicy Eggplant with Minced Pork in Clay Pot". I do not own a clay pot (nor do my boyfriend) so I made do with just a regular pot, and left out the "Clay Pot" part from the title of my post.

This Spicy Eggplant with Minced Pork dish has always been one of my favorite Chinese dishes because I love eggplant (only the thin, long Chinese eggplants though) and spicy food. The combination of sauce, the spiciness, and the soft eggplants in this dish just makes it so appetizing, especially with rice! This is very dangerous thought because you may end up eating many many bowls of rice ^_^

Spicy Eggplants with Minced Pork (魚香茄子)from Christine's Recipes


  • 450 gram eggplant
  • 170 ram minced pork
  • 1/2 Tbsp ginger, finely chopped
  • 1 Tbsp minced shallot
  • 1 Tbsp garlic, crushed
  • 1 Tbsp chili bean sauce (available at Asian stores)
  • Water, adjust while cooking
  • 1 1/2 tsp light soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cornflour
  • 1/2 tsp vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp water
  • Pepper, to taste
  • 1 tsp light soy sauce
  • 1 tsp dark soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 2 tsp oyster sauce
  • 2 tsp water
  • sesame oil, to taste
  • pepper, to taste

  • 1 tsp cornflour
  • 2 Tbsp water

    1.  Rinse eggplant. Trim and julienne. 
    2.  Soak in water with a bit of salt dissolved for a while. Drain well. 
    3.  Marinate pork mince for 20 minutes.
    4.  Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a clay pot over medium. Sauté half of the minced garlic, shallot, ginger and chili bean sauce. Add eggplant and stir fry constantly. Also add hot water bit by bit all the way of stir frying. Don’t add too much water at a time, just add small amount to avoid burning or sticking to the bottom of clay pot. Coat the eggplant with sauce evenly, then add some boiling water to simmer until eggplants softened.

    5.  While stir frying the eggplant, use another frying pan to heat some cooking oil. Add another half of minced garlic, shallot, ginger and chili bean sauce until aromatic. Add pork and stir fry until cooked.

    6.  When the eggplant is softened, toss the minced pork in clay pot. Stir fry quickly. Turn heat to medium. Bring it to boil. Add thickening to your preference. Serve hot.

    • It is not necessary to soak the julienned eggplant in water with salt. But this step would help to remove its bitterness and keep its purple colour fresh from cooking. Or simply peel off the skin instead.
    • Adjust the amount of chili bean sauce as you wish, but watch out because this chili bean sauce is spicy!
    • Although I added water, it wasn't because the eggplants were sticking (I was using a non-stick pot instead of a clay pot) but more so because I added a bit more chili bean sauce then intended (my boyfriend cannot handle too spicy). So after adding some water to dilute the spiciness, I waited for it to boil and had it simmer until the sauce thickened up again.

      I'm sure cooking this dish with a clay pot would make a difference in a sense that the eggplants would have more flavor or "wok hey". But right now, I can't say that getting a clay pot is on top my list of "things to get for the kitchen". I know I probably could have used a wok too but again, my boyfriend's place is not equipped with a wok either (I know, so embarrassing). However, I'm already very happy with how this dish turned out with just cooking it in a regular pot.