Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Hot Spicy Eggplants - Szechuan Style

I am not the type who get sick or feeling under weather easily. That said, I did have my own crazy drama few years ago. However, in general, it's rare to find me saying 'I don't feel too great today.' If you've seen those commercial of Energizer Bunny - well...I could be the twins of it. Rap rap rap, drumming the big drums.

Anyhoo, these past two days though...holycow..runny nose, watery eyes, sneezing sneezing sneezing - that's all I have been doing for the past 2 days. Just super bleh! Hate that feeling when you feel like you are about to sneeze but it's not second..two secs...three...four..come on...staring to the ceiling....wall. Not happening. Again and again. More teary eyes. Ugh!

There I was leaving my studio, hoping to hit home earlier today, juggling few bags and with my not so clear headed mind, somehow I walked pass my subway station. I don't even know how it happened. When I realized, I thought go to the next one or just walk back. Next one. Passed by this Chinese restaurant and runny nose aside, I can smell the familiar aroma of Chinese cooking. I was tempted to go in and order a take-out, which would involve waiting for 15-20 minutes and I don't want to be sneezing up (gross!!) while people are eating. And I don't want to be caught...squinting my eyes..staring at wall..waiting for the sneeze to come. More teary eyes.

So I hurried home!!! Chicken rice with its broth as soup sounds right for the night. I had to make a stop at grocers to pick up some ginger. Saw some Chinese spicy eggplants dish sounds like a winner. Sure it'll worsen up runny nose and teary eyes, but I convince myself that it is exactly what I needed - to clear up my nose and head.

- 2 Chinese eggplants, cut lengthwise and then cut to 3" pieces.
- 4 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
- 1" ginger, finely chopped
- 5 dried chillies, soaked
- 3 thai bird eyes chillies, chopped
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 2 tbsp hoisin sauce
- 1 tbsp oyster sauce
- 1/4 cup chicken broth (water)
- 2 green onions, cut to 3" pieces
- 1 tsp sesame oil

- Heat oil in pan and fry eggplant until it has nice golden brown color on it. Set aside. Pour out leftover frying oil to container, leaving just 1/2 tbsp in pan.
- Toss in garlic, ginger, green onions, dried and fresh chillies. Fry for few minutes.
- Add in all sauces (soy, hoisin, oyster). Stir and let it come to bubble. Pour in chicken broth. Gravy should thicken up a little bit. Cornstarch can be added if you like thicker gravy.
- Toss in eggplants. Quickly stir and mix with gravy. Cook for couple minutes. Turn heat off and then add sesame oil. Stir.

It's absolutely a hot and spicy dish and garlicky but was yum!! The mild flavor from chicken rice helped toning down the heat quite a bit.


Dee said...

You poor dearie! I hate that sneeze that doesn't happen - such an anti-climax! I completely agree that spicy food clears up the sinuses - a tomyam soup sounds like what you need :)

Love the bird's eye in the eggplant - I'm out of hoisin, should I buy or can I skip it, you think?

Elra said...

I hope you get better soon. Sure the spicy eggplant will probably help!

abigail @ Piece of Cake said...

you made all this AND had a cold? wow. you are a SUPER woman!

tigerfish said...

I am not a fan of eggplants. I would eat the "tofu" version of it - Mapo Tofu!

The Mediocre Cook said...

Eggplant is still a taste I am aquiring but I can only imagine with all those flavors added it must rock!

CECIL said...

Dee: ooohh..Tomyam!! That'd really clear all sinuses! Sure you can skip hoisin, but maybe add some black beans sauce if you have them? Or just some brown sugar.

Elra: Thank you!! It helped alright, I had to put a box of kleenex next to me. :)

Abigail: I think I fit more into Energizer Bunny than super woman! But I will take that compliment anytime!! :D

Tigerfish: You that you said that, how could I not think of Mapo Tofu instead?!! I have a block of tofu in my fridge.

MediocreCook: You can always use tofu instead (like mentioned by tigerfish) or anything goes with this gravy, actually.

Maria said...

Get well soon! The eggplant looks fantastic! I am such a fan of it!

Alexa said...

I hope you get over this virus soon... I always like to make a big batch of ginger flavored congee. The spicy eggplant would at least clear your sinuses. It sounds very tasty to me. Take care.

Prudy said...

Oh, get well! I'd love some of this delicious eggplant, sick or healthy!

Anonymous said...

i love eggplant and szechuan sauce....this looks like a great tasty dish!

hope you feel better soon...this season sucks for all those icky germs out there!

A.G said...

musim penyakit kl autum gini, yg paling trend adalah flu dan pilek soale jg lg mendera kita..... parahnya pd batuk skg
cepetan sembuh ya... :)
terong saus szechuanya pasti bs membantu :D...

noobcook said...

yes hi 5! runny nose = more spicy food hehehe ... sorry I am so late, but I am sure you are much better now ;) Love these hot n spicy sichuan eggplants :D

algodon said...

Gary Rhodes cooked the same dish during his food tour in China and I must give you the thumbs up because your szechuan aubergine looks much better than his :)

CECIL said...

Algodon: Oh gosh..this may be the best ever compliment ever!! Just to have Gary Rhodes name in same page as mine!! :) THANK YOU!

Sophie said...

WOW (impressed look). Your eggplant dish looks so yummy.

Here I bought a sauce pack for Sauce for Spicy Garlic Egg-plant so as to skip all the seasonings! and i will try this friday after work.