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Not an everyday eggplant dish but perfect for a once-in-a-while treat and a delicious way to enjoy eggplant.
- 1⁄3 cup cornstarch, plus
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch, divided
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 8 ounces eggplants, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes
- 2 1⁄2 cups vegetable oil, plus
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons vegetable oil, divided
- 1⁄4 cup pine nuts
- 1 teaspoon soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 1⁄3 cup chicken broth
- 1 tablespoon fresh gingerroot, peeled and minced
- 1 tablespoon chopped scallion
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1⁄2 teaspoon Asian chili sauce
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- Combine 1/3 cup cornstarch with the flour in a resealable plastic bag and shake it well;rinse the eggplant, drain it and shake it in the cornstarch mixture in batches, placing it in a large bowl as it's coated.
- In a wok heat 1 cup of the oil over high heat until hot but not smoking; add pine nuts with a strainer, removing it as soon as pine nuts are golden; drain on paper towels.
- Add another 1 1/2 cups of oil to the wok and heat to 375° on a deep fat thermometer; fry eggplant in three batches, stirring and turning until golden, about 6 minutes; drain 5 minutes in a colander set over a bowl, then pour into a serving bowl.
- Stir the soy sauce, sugar, remaining teaspoon of cornstarch and the broth in a small bowl until cornstarch is dissolved.
- Remove the oil from the wok, wipe it dry with a paper towel and add the final 1 1/2 tsp of oil; heat and when hot stir-fry the gingerroot, scallion, garlic and chili sauce until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
- Stir the soy sauce mixture and add it to the scallion mixture; stir and bring mixture to a boil; add sesame oil and pine nuts; stir and pour over eggplant.