Why It Works
- Coating the eggplant in cornstarch, vinegar, water, and salt helps prevent browning and allows maintain its lively purple shade.
- Cooking components in batches keeps the wok incredibly hot and helps prevent unwelcome steaming.
1 of my beloved means to eat eggplant is in makheua yao pad tao jiao, a basic Thai-Chinese dish of stir-fried eggplant and minced pork. Flavored with tao jiao (fermented yellow bean sauce), garlic, new chiles, and licorice-tasting Thai sweet basil, the easy yet fragrant dish is usually located at the curry and rice stalls identified as khao gaeng, but it really is also usually built at dwelling.
Wok cooking in Thailand is the consequence of Chinese influence and it can be turn into commonplace in modern-day-day cuisine, although it truly is frequently associated with avenue food and restaurants, particularly the sort of cooking that calls for extreme warmth to generate the smoky taste regarded as wok hei. Whilst household cooks can accomplish wok hei in their kitchens, I think it is best to depart that to high-driven restaurant wok burners. In its place, I imagine dwelling cooks should really aim on other stir-frying fundamentals, like cooking the substances for a dish in scaled-down batches then combining them at the conclusion, which will help to prevent steaming your components to mush.
For the eggplant, I coat slices in a mixture of cornstarch, white vinegar, drinking water, and salt, which features as a protecting layer that helps prevent enzymatic browning, a series of chemical reactions that occurs in some foodstuff when their minimize surfaces are uncovered to air. I then flash fry the eggplant in scorching oil to soften it although preserving its vibrant purple hue. The moment the eggplant is cooked, I brown the ground pork and toss it with garlic and chiles, then eliminate the combination and set it apart to make the sauce—since a typical property stovetop burner can’t provide sauces to a rapid boil like a wok burner would, taking away the pork can help avoid it from overcooing. To finish the dish, I deliver the umami-packed sauce built with tao jiao, oyster sauce, and soy sauce, alongside with drinking water and sugar to equilibrium out the flavor, to a quick simmer, insert the eggplant and pork back in, and cook dinner everything alongside one another until finally the sauce is absorbed. Completed with Thai basil for an natural chunk, this dish pairs properly with fragrant jasmine rice.
If you are interested in doubling this recipe, I suggest cooking many batches independently. Never do it all in just one go―this stir-fry pushes the restrict of what I endorse cooking in a wok at as soon as, specially on a home stovetop.