Szechuan Minced Chicken with Braised Aubergine

The Szechuan Province of China has a tremendous history with food and one that deserves to be discovered. A healthy cuisine, with a lot of fish, pork meat and very spicy dishes. Here’s is my version of Minced chicken with braised Aubergine.
First, saute the eggplant with the garlic and ginger, until it starts to brown on all sides.
Set aside on plate.
Add both preparations in the wok and pour in the sauce. Cook with the lid on, for about 10 minutes, then add the cornstarch to thicken the sauce ever so slightly. Glossy, rich, creamy and spicy… What else do you want. Serve with Egg noodles or Jasmine Rice.

INGREDIENTS
1 Tablespoon Szechuan Peppercorns. (Saute in a hot pan and using a mortar and pestle, reduce to a fine powder)
1 Tablespoon Vegetable Oil
2 Garlic Cloves, finely minced
3 cm Ginger, finely grated
3 Dried Long chillies, cut into small pieces
300 Gr. Minced chicken or pork
2 Green Scallions finely chopped, including the green stems
1 Large Eggplant, cut into bite size pieces

For the sauce – In a small bowl combine;
2 Tablespoon Soy Sauce
1 Tablespoon Black Vinegar
1 Tablespoon Oyster Sauce
2 Tablespoon White Sugar – I use sugar cane – 1 tablespoon
1/2 Cup Chicken Stock
1/4 Cup Shaoxing Wine (Chinese Cooking Wine

Thickening Agent – 1 Tablespoon Cornstarch with a tablespoon of water. Mix well.

METHOD
In a heavy saucepan or wok, pour the vegetable oil and wait until it starts to smoke, then add the ginger, garlic, red peppers and eggplant. Saute everything until the eggplant start to brown on all side. Remove and set aside in a small bowl.
Add the chicken to the pan along with the ground Szechuan pepper, mix well. Once the chicken is cooked, add the eggplant and mix well.
Whilst the chicken is cooking prepare your sauce and once the chicken is done, pour the sauce along with the chicken stock and mix well. Cover the pan with a lid and cook at medium heat for about 10 minutes.
Add the Cornstarch and mix well. The sauce will thicken rapidly and give the dish a very glossy finish. A little salt & pepper.
Garnish with fried onions, coriander or scallions.
Serve with rice or noodles.

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