What I Had for Lunch Today: Szechuan Eggplant with Garlic
Unfortunately, Szechuan Restaurant burned down before too long, leaving me with unfulfillable cravings. No internet then; I dug through library collections until I found a book of recipes that sounded like what I'd been eating there. I don't have any record of the book any more...just a few of the recipes I copied down almost thirty years ago. This is one of them.
A pound of eggplant, unpeeled, is cut into thumb-sized pieces and stir-fried in hot oil, then removed. In the same pan, a tablespoon each of minced garlic and ginger is stir-fried for a few seconds. Then a half-cup of vegetable broth, two tablespoons of soy sauce, a tablespoon of Chinkiang vinegar, a pinch of sugar, a tablespoon of hot bean paste, and the reserved eggplant is stirred in. The whole thing is simmered four or five minutes until most of the liquid is gone, then garnished with chopped scallion and a drizzle of toasted sesame oil. Eaten with rice.