- 1 eggplant
- 3-4 shallots or pearl onions
- 1 tsp garlic, minced
- 1 tsp red chili sauce or chili flakes
- 2 Tbsp. soy sauce
- 1 tsp white vinegar
- 1 tsp corn starch
- 1/2 tsp of brown sugar
- 1 small bunch of fresh dill, parsley or cilantro
- salt and freely ground pepper
- 2 tbsp of sesame oil
- 1 cup water
For the rice:
- 1 cup long white rice
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 3 cardamom seeds, crushed
- 1 anise star
- 1 tsp olive oil
To make perfect rice: Rinse the rise throughly, at least two times, in cold water until the water runs clear. Put the rice in a heavy-bottomed saucepan and add the water. Add cardamom, anise star, oil and salt. Bring the rice to a boil, uncovered, over high heat. Stir and reduce the heat to low. Cover and simmer for up to 15 minutes, or until all the water has been absorbed. Remove from the heat and allow to stand for 10 minutes.
Trim the eggplant and cut into 1 inch wide wedges. Heat the oil in a wide frying pan, add the eggplant in 2 batches, frying until soft and brown. Set aside.
In the same pan, add the shallots, garlic and chili sauce and cook for a couple of minutes.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl mix together the soy sauce, vinegar, corn starch, sugar, and salt to make the Szechuan Sauce.
Add the water to a frying pan with shallots and sauce. Let it boil for a couple of seconds, then add the eggplant and toss. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes more. Add fresh herbs and adjust the seasoning.
Serve with aromatic white rice.