Up until now, most of my recipe posts on this blog have been very western style. And I was starting to worry that you might think I’m this gwei mui jai who knows nothing about her Chinese food. For those who know me, you would know that couldn’t be further from the truth. I could easily blend in as a Hongkie, and it always gives me great pleasure when people tell me they think I’m local. I don’t know why, but I feel very proud when I’m told that.
I love Asian cuisine and especially Chinese food. I grew up eating home-cooked Chinese meals every night, despite living in Canada. My mom who worked full-time, always put up a delicious meal for us every night. She is the one who inspires me to cook, even with my crazy working hours. [Mom, you’re really amazing and I miss your cooking everyday].
In the last couple years, I’ve been experimenting a lot with Chinese dishes and it wasn’t until the past year where I’ve been exploring out of my comfort zone and trying western dishes. That’s why the few recipes I’ve posted thus far were non-Chinese dishes. I do plan to share more Chinese recipes with you, so please stay posted.
Here is my version of steamed eggplant with minced pork.
Steamed Eggplant with Minced Pork
1 Chinese eggplant
150g minced pork
1/2 red chili, diced
2 green chives, thinly sliced
1/2 tbsp garlic, finely chopped
2 tbsp olive oil
1/3 cup water
1 tbsp light soy sauce
1/2 tbsp dark soy sauce
1 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp sesame oil
ground white pepper
2 tsp cornstarch
3 tbsp water
Put some water in a pan (or a wok) and heat it on high until boiling. Cut the eggplant in half and then slice it length-wise. Place the eggplant in a steamer (or use a steam rack with a heat proof dish) with the skin side facing down for 8 minutes. Once they are done, remove them from the steamer and put in a colander.
Heat a wok and add 2 tbsp olive oil. Stir fry the garlic and chili until fragrant. Then add the minced pork and continue to stir while breaking up the bits with spatula until done. Add the seasoning and water and bring it to a boil. Turn the heat down to low, and simmer for 15 minutes.
While the minced pork is cooking, cut the eggplants into 4 cm chunks.
When the minced pork is done, add the thickening glaze (mix the cornstarch and water well*) and turn the heat high again until the mixture boils. Turn off the heat and stir in the green onions.
Serve the eggplants in a flat bowl with the meat sauce poured over.
*Always add water to the cornstarch and never the other way around, otherwise you will get lumps. And never use hot water.
[Suggestion: Try using 2 dried shiitake mushrooms to add another dimension to the minced pork sauce. Of course, I always forget to soak the mushrooms in the morning, so I didn’t add it this time. My mom taught me to soak it in the morning to allow the mushrooms to soften up enough. I’ve read online, you can soak them with hot water for 20 minutes and that should do the trick, I’ve yet to try. To add the mushrooms to this recipe, simply soak and squeeze the mushrooms dry and chop them finely and add them together with the minced pork.]