Red-Cooked Eggplant (Hongshao Qiezi)

Ingredients

3 oriental eggplant, quartered lengthwise

1 cup olive oil

1 long red chilli, sliced

5 garlic cloves, chopped

½ red onion chopped

2 tbsp white sugar

1 tbsp shrimp paste

2 tbsp chilli bean paste

2 star anise

1 tbsp tomato paste

3 tbsp soy sauce

2 tbsp rice wine vinegar

2 tbsp beef stock

garlic chives

½ bunch coriander, chopped

Method

Submerge eggplant in a bowl filled with ice water for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, heat oil in a 14″ flat-bottomed wok over medium-high heat. Drain eggplant, dry thoroughly with paper towels, and add all to the oil. Cook until just soft and golden, about 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer eggplant to a bowl lined with paper towel and set aside.

Discard all but ¼ cup oil in wok; return to medium heat. Add garlic, red onion and chilli. Season with salt and pepper and fry for one to two minutes or until onion just begins to soften. Stir through sugar. Add shrimp paste, bean paste, tomato paste, star anise, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar and stock. Bring to the boil.

Transfer eggplant back to the wok. Stir through garlic chives and coriander.

Transfer to a plate and serve.