This Szechuan Stuffed Eggplant is truly delicious. Admittedly, I am an avid fan of eggplant – but I really can’t imagine anyone saying no to these once they’ve tried them.
Eggplant slices are cleverly pocketed and stuffed with exquisitely seasoned ground pork in this Szechuan Stuffed Eggplant dish. By now, you may notice that the go-to meat in Szechuan cuisine is pork. This is because pigs were commonplace in this area of China for many years and served as one of the primary protein sources.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, pork is considered to fortify yin (or deep energy reserves) and provide moisture to the skin. However, if meat is not for you, you can make a delicious vegetarian version by using finely chopped mushrooms instead of ground pork.
Szechuan Stuffed EggplantPrint Recipe
- 1 Chinese eggplant
- 1 cup of ground pork
- 1-inch ginger root
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 1 teaspoon of all-purpose flour
- 2 scallions
- 2 eggs
- 2 cups of panko
- 2 teaspoons of light soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons of Shao Xing rice wine
- Slice the eggplant into rounds 1-centimetre thick. Make a width-wise incision 1/2-centimetre from the edge of the round, and cut through to the ‘equator’, creating sort of a pac-man mouth. Use the tip of your knife to cut a pocket further into the round. Repeat for each slice. Set the rounds in salt water to soak for 20 minutes.
- Peel, smash and roughly chop your garlic and ginger. Soak the pieces in 1/4 cup of boiling water for 10 minutes. When the time is up, save the water and discard the rest. Finely chop the scallions.
- Preheat your oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit
- In a bowl, combine the ground pork, soy sauce, scallions, flour, ginger/garlic water, Shao Xing rice wine. Mix until it all becomes soft and pasty.
- Gently tuck about 1 teaspoon of filling into each eggplant pac-man mouth. If you have leftover filling after all the rounds are used, you can use it within the next 24 hours (pork fried rice!) or freeze it.
- Prepare the breading: beat the eggs lightly in a small bowl. Pour the breadcrumbs into a separate bowl.
- One at a time, dip your eggplant into the egg and then the breadcrumbs, turning to coat evenly at each step.
- Place the breaded fritters on a baking pan sprayed with nonstick spray. Bake at 450 degrees Fahrenheit for 25 minutes. Flip around 12 minutes for an even crunch. Cut into a large one to ensure doneness, then remove and plate.
- Allow a cooling period of 5 minutes, then serve immediately for best results. Leftovers can be stored in a refrigerator for up to 5 days and reheated in a 500-degree oven for 5 minutes to revive crispness.