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Eggplant, Portobello and Chicken Stir-Fry

If you cannot find Asian eggplants, you can use a globe eggplant of the same weight. Because larger eggplants are sometimes bitter and have a higher water content, it is a good idea to salt them to draw out the bitterness and excess moisture. Toss the cubed eggplant with about 1 Tbs. salt, place in a colander and let stand for about 15 minutes. Pat dry with a paper towel before stir-frying.

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tbs. water
  • 2 Tbs. soy sauce
  • 2 Tbs. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp. tomato paste or ketchup
  • 1 tsp. Asian sesame oil
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. cornstarch
  • 4 Tbs. corn or peanut oil
  • 1/2 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs, cut into bite-size cubes
  • 3 Asian eggplant, about 1 lb. total, cut into bite-size cubes
  • 1 Tbs. grated fresh ginger
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/4 lb. portobello or cremini mushrooms, stems discarded and caps cut into bite-size pieces
  • Steamed rice for serving

Directions:

Make the sauce
In a bowl, combine the water, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, tomato paste, sesame oil, sugar and cornstarch and stir to dissolve the sugar and cornstarch.

Stir-fry the chicken and vegetables
Warm a wok or large fry pan over high heat until very hot and add 2 Tbs. of the corn oil. Add the chicken and stir-fry until opaque throughout, about 2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the chicken to a bowl.

Return the pan to high heat and add the remaining 2 Tbs. corn oil. Add the eggplant and stir-fry until golden brown, about 7 minutes. Add the ginger, garlic and mushrooms and continue to stir-fry until the mushrooms have released much of their liquid, about 3 minutes more. Return the chicken to the pan. Add the sauce to the pan and stir until it thickens slightly, 1 to 2 minutes. Serve immediately with steamed rice. Serves 4.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Food Made Fast Series, Asian, by Farina Wong Kingsley (Oxmoor House, 2007).