Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Hunan-Style Eggplant with Bacon and Shiitake Mushrooms

This recipe is definitely a keeper. Try it, you'll like it!

Eggplant is in season right now (and abundant in my garden). Bacon can be had from local sources included Bostrom Farm, and Paul Lagreze of New England Wild Edibles sells lovely shiitake mushrooms. Serve this over rice.

1/4 cup canola oil
2 1/2 lbs eggplant, cut 1/4-1/2 inch thick (in rounds for the long skinny kind, or in quarters or eighths for the fat kind)
1/4 lb uncooked bacon, chopped
6-8 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 lb shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and chopped
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
2 Tbsp water or stock
Asian chili sauce to taste
6-8 scallions, sliced (white and green parts)

Heat the oil in a large skillet (better than a wok in this case). Add the eggplant and cook over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until it is all tender. (Note: eggplant absorbs oil like crazy - don't add more after the oil is all absorbed or it will get too greasy in the end.) Remove the eggplant from the skillet and set aside.

Add the bacon to the skillet and cook, stirring frequently, for about 2 minutes. Add the garlic and shiitakes and cook an additional 2 minutes or so, continuing to stir frequently. Add the soy sauce, sesame oil, water or stock, and a bit of chili sauce and stir, then add the eggplant back to the pan. Mix well to get the eggplant well coated with sauce, then cook over low heat for a few minutes so it can really absorb the flavors. Stir in the scallions and turn off the heat.

Serves about 4.

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