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Spicy Pork and Eggplant Stir-Fry

Indian summer signals the finale of deeply purple eggplants at the market. Toss cubes with tender pieces of pork in a fiery chili sauce. The eggplant flesh emerges from the wok seared on the outside but silken at heart.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pork tenderloin, about 1 lb., silverskin removed
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 eggplant, about 1 lb.
  • 2 Tbs. chili-garlic sauce, such as Sriracha
  • 1 1/2 tsp. toasted sesame oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp. rice vinegar
  • 3 Tbs. peanut or canola oil
  • 1 Tbs. peeled and grated fresh ginger
  • 6 green onions, white and light green portions, 4 halved lengthwise and cut into 3/4-inch pieces, 2 finely chopped

Directions:

Put the pork tenderloin in the freezer for 20 minutes to firm it up for slicing. Cut into strips about 1/2 inch thick, 2 inches long and 3/4 inch wide. Season generously with salt and pepper. Cut the eggplant into strips of the same size.

In a small bowl, whisk together the chili-garlic sauce, sesame oil and vinegar until smooth. Set aside.

In a wok or large fry pan over high heat, warm 2 Tbs. of the peanut oil until very hot. Add the eggplant and stir-fry until slightly softened, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the ginger and the green onion pieces and stir-fry for 1 minute. Transfer the vegetables to a platter.

Add the remaining 1 Tbs. peanut oil to the wok over high heat and swirl to coat. Add the pork, distributing it evenly, and cook without moving it for about 20 seconds. Using a metal spatula, toss and stir the pork every 15 to 20 seconds until browned, about 3 minutes. Return the vegetables to the pan and add the chili-garlic mixture. Reduce the heat to medium and stir-fry for 1 to 2 minutes to blend the flavors and warm through. Scatter with the chopped green onions and serve immediately. Serves 4.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma One Pot of the Day, by Kate McMillan (Weldon Owen, 2012).