My mom cooked a lot of vegetables when we were growing up. She cooked mostly Asian vegetables like eggplant. It’s one of my favorite vegetables. Whenever I get a chance, I try to make dishes that use eggplant as a main ingredient, just like this does. Yes, this dish has chicken and other ingredients. But, it’s the eggplant that really is the star of this dish. It’s very easy to make. Just toss in many of the ingredients into a wok and stir-fry. I like to serve this dish with a side of jasmine rice. By the way, if chicken isn’t your meat of choice, you can substitute, beef, pork or even tofu instead.
1/2 cup onion, sliced
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 chicken breast, sliced thinly
1-3 red chillies (including seeds), depending on how spicy you like it
1 Chinese eggplant
1 red bell pepper
1/4 cup water for stir-frying
2-3 tablespoons oil
1/2 cup (or more) fresh basil
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon fish sauce
2 tablespoons oyster sauce
1 teaspoon brown sugar
Prepare the sauce by mixing together all sauce ingredients. Set aside.
Chop the eggplant up into bite-size pieces. Place oil to a wok or large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and half of the garlic. Cook until fragrant. Add chicken. Stir fry until tender and browned. Add chili, eggplant and bell pepper. Stir-fry for 5 minutes or until eggplant begins to get soft. When the wok or frying pan becomes dry, add a little of the water — a few tablespoons at a time, enough to keep the ingredients frying nicely. Add soy sauce and continue stir-frying for 5 more minutes or until the eggplant is soft and the white flesh is almost translucent. Add a little more water when the pan becomes too dry.
When the eggplant is soft, add the rest of the garlic plus the sauce. Stir fry to incorporate. Stir well. Lower heat to simmer. Taste test the eggplant for salt. If not salty enough, add a little more fish sauce. If too salty, add 1 tablespoon lime juice. Now add fresh basil and stir fry. Serve with jasmine rice.