Saturday, September 10, 2011

Fragrant Eggplant/New Blog Site!

Fragrant Eggplant

Today is the OFFICIAL RELAUNCH of my website and blog at Fast, Fun, Fresh Cook Like a Wok Star|Wok Star Eleanor Hoh and launch of Bee Yinn Low’s new cookbook. Bee is giving away 5 signed copies, so hop over for that! I will be doing a Giveaway in probably a week so check back at my new site!

Congratulations to Bee who’s worked tirelessly over the year to produce her first cookbook, Easy Chinese Recipes! It must be so rewarding for her to know that all the hard work from her hugely successful blog has resulted in this gorgeous first cookbook.

I pre-ordered this cookbook and already have mine and it’s just as gorgeous as her site! We are also both Virgos and our birthdays are coming up soon, so lots to celebrate.

Bee’s book is beautifully presented and executed. Dishes, photography and styling are outstanding, she did it all herself! It shows dedication to her craft. I like that she has made popular Chinese dishes so accessible for anyone to make at home. Her approach to cooking is simple and attention to detail is meticulous.
I was very honored to be asked to write “Seasoning a Cast Iron Wok” and hope her fans will like it.

As a cooking teacher myself, I find her recipes wonderfully easy to follow and I don’t even use recipes! I was lucky enough to be a tester for her Fragrant Eggplant dish, I must say it turned out just as she taught us. I know her fans will enjoy this cookbook as much as I do, so run out and get it or head over to her blog and see if you can’t win a signed copy!

from Bee Yinn Low’s Easy Chinese Recipes: Family Favorites from Dim Sum to Kung Pao

I followed Bee’s recipe to the tee and must say she does a fantastic job with this recipe with exception to a few ingredients I had to substitute. I’m not very good at following recipes, (as my readers know, I have a NO-recipe technique and encourage everyone to Cook Like a Wok Star) so I was pleasantly surprised how easy this dish was to make from start to finish. And boy, it was so delicious. I love eggplant and now I understand how the restaurants get these so tender and juicy. I’m excited to see everyone’s post of Bee’s recipes.

Serves 4 as part of a multicourse meal

8 oz. Chinese eggplant
Oil for deep frying
1 tblsp oil
2 cloves garlic
one thumb sized fresh ginger, minced
1/2 green chili, cut into small pieces (I substituted with green because there weren’t any red chilies.)
1 handful chopped scallion

1 1/2 tblsp hot bean sauce
1 tsp soy sauce
1/4 tsp dark soy sauce
1 tblsp Chinese black vinegar
1/2 tsp. sugar
2 tblsp water
sprinkle of cornstarch

1. Mix all the ingredients in the sauce in a small bowl. Set aside.

2. Cut the eggplant and soak pieces immediately in cold water. Add some salt to prevent the eggplant from turning brown. Pat dry with paper towels before deep frying.

3. Heat enough oil in the dip of my wok for deep frying. The way I test whether it’s hot enough is to use a wood chopstick and put in the middle of the oil. If there are bubbles, your oil is hot enough. Gently lower the eggplant into the oil and deep fry for 10 seconds. Remove them with a slotted spoon or strainer draining the excess oil by laying the eggplant on a dish with paper towels. Discard or reserve the oil for another recipe.

4. Heat 1 tblsp. of oil in my wok over hight heat. Add garlic and ginger and stir fry till light brown. Add the green or red chilies and then stir in the Sauce. As soon as the Sauce thickens, add in the eggplant and scallions. Stir continuously until the eggplant is well coated with the Sauce. Dish out and serve immediately. Instead of steamed rice, I served with brown rice and a simple stir fried shrimp dish. They complemented each other perfectly.

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