Steamed Eggplants with Chile Sauce (Hong You Qie Zi.)

This recipe was a revelation to me when I found it in Fuchsia Dunlop’s book Land of Plenty. Until then I had always fried or roasted eggplant. This recipe steams the sliced Chinese eggplants, which transforms them into creamy deliciousness, barely held together by their skin. You then dip them in the intense, flavorful chili sauce. Spectacular and really easy.

Here is my variation on her recipe.

  • Four Chinese eggplant sliced diagonally into one inch pieces.
  • One quarter cup of soy sauce.
  • One quarter cup of black Chinese vinegar
  • Two dried chiles, flaked.
  • One teaspoon of sesame oil.
Front to back: steamed eggplant, rice, and beans with fried tofu.
Front to back: steamed eggplant, rice, and beans with fried tofu.

Place the sliced eggplant in a steamer and steam for 15 minutes until thoroughly soft. Meanwhile, mix the other ingredients in a small bowl. Place the steamed eggplant on a spacious serving dish and place the bowl of chile sauce in the middle. Eat with chopsticks, dipping each piece of eggplant into the sauce. I served this with yard-long beans with fried tofu and brown rice for an accidentally vegan meal.

By the way, best place in town I have found for Asian ingredients and cooking equipment is the Phuoc Loc Pho Market on Colonial.

 

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