Why It Functions
- Coating the eggplant in cornstarch, vinegar, water, and salt helps prevent browning and will help preserve its lively purple color.
- Cooking parts in batches retains the wok incredibly hot and stops unwanted steaming.
A single of my favorite ways to take in eggplant is in makheua yao pad tao jiao, a basic Thai-Chinese dish of stir-fried eggplant and minced pork. Flavored with tao jiao (fermented yellow bean sauce), garlic, fresh chiles, and licorice-tasting Thai sweet basil, the straightforward nevertheless aromatic dish is generally found at the curry and rice stalls identified as khao gaeng, but it can be also generally designed at residence.
Wok cooking in Thailand is the outcome of Chinese influence and it can be come to be commonplace in present day-day cuisine, even though it really is usually connected with road food and dining establishments, significantly the kind of cooking that needs powerful heat to generate the smoky taste recognised as wok hei. Whilst house cooks can reach wok hei in their kitchens, I think it is finest to leave that to superior-driven restaurant wok burners. As an alternative, I assume property cooks need to target on other stir-frying fundamentals, like cooking the components for a dish in smaller batches then combining them at the end, which can help to stop steaming your elements to mush.
For the eggplant, I coat slices in a mixture of cornstarch, white vinegar, drinking water, and salt, which functions as a protecting layer that stops enzymatic browning, a series of chemical reactions that occurs in some foodstuff when their minimize surfaces are exposed to air. I then flash fry the eggplant in very hot oil to soften it whilst preserving its vibrant purple hue. As soon as the eggplant is cooked, I brown the floor pork and toss it with garlic and chiles, then take away the mixture and established it apart to make the sauce—since a typical house stovetop burner cannot provide sauces to a swift boil like a wok burner would, eradicating the pork can help prevent it from overcooing. To comprehensive the dish, I convey the umami-packed sauce produced with tao jiao, oyster sauce, and soy sauce, along with water and sugar to harmony out the flavor, to a rapid simmer, add the eggplant and pork again in, and prepare dinner anything together until finally the sauce is absorbed. Completed with Thai basil for an natural chunk, this dish pairs well with fragrant jasmine rice.
If you’re interested in doubling this recipe, I suggest cooking a number of batches individually. Never do it all in 1 go―this stir-fry pushes the restrict of what I recommend cooking in a wok at the moment, specially on a home stovetop.