Why It Will work
- Coating the eggplant in cornstarch, vinegar, water, and salt helps prevent browning and can help preserve its vibrant purple coloration.
- Cooking factors in batches retains the wok incredibly hot and prevents undesired steaming.
1 of my favourite ways to try to eat eggplant is in makheua yao pad tao jiao, a common Thai-Chinese dish of stir-fried eggplant and minced pork. Flavored with tao jiao (fermented yellow bean sauce), garlic, refreshing chiles, and licorice-tasting Thai sweet basil, the uncomplicated yet fragrant dish is usually uncovered at the curry and rice stalls identified as khao gaeng, but it truly is also frequently produced at house.
Wok cooking in Thailand is the end result of Chinese impact and it is really turn into widespread in modern-working day delicacies, although it really is commonly involved with street meals and dining establishments, significantly the kind of cooking that demands intense heat to generate the smoky flavor identified as wok hei. Even though house cooks can accomplish wok hei in their kitchens, I believe that it is greatest to depart that to substantial-driven cafe wok burners. Rather, I believe residence cooks really should target on other stir-frying fundamentals, like cooking the ingredients for a dish in lesser batches then combining them at the stop, which allows to stop steaming your elements to mush.
For the eggplant, I coat slices in a mixture of cornstarch, white vinegar, h2o, and salt, which capabilities as a protecting layer that prevents enzymatic browning, a collection of chemical reactions that takes place in some food items when their minimize surfaces are exposed to air. I then flash fry the eggplant in sizzling oil to soften it though preserving its lively purple hue. Once the eggplant is cooked, I brown the floor pork and toss it with garlic and chiles, then clear away the combination and established it aside to make the sauce—since a conventional house stovetop burner are not able to provide sauces to a rapid boil like a wok burner would, taking away the pork allows protect against it from overcooing. To full the dish, I bring the umami-packed sauce manufactured with tao jiao, oyster sauce, and soy sauce, alongside with water and sugar to stability out the flavor, to a immediate simmer, add the eggplant and pork back again in, and prepare dinner every thing with each other right up until the sauce is absorbed. Concluded with Thai basil for an organic bite, this dish pairs perfectly with aromatic jasmine rice.
If you are intrigued in doubling this recipe, I counsel cooking various batches individually. Do not do it all in just one go―this stir-fry pushes the limit of what I advise cooking in a wok at once, particularly on a residence stovetop.