Before I start, should anyone want to know the origin of that quote – here it is.
Some times I make for dinner an absolutely DELICIOUS stirfry (Or…perhaps you could call it a stir…braise.) with eggplant. Whenever I buy an eggplant, I think of spicy-sweet eggplant and tomato cooked with ras-el-hanout, but I nearly ALWAYS end up cooking it in with an Asian-ish noodle dish. It has salty, spicy, sweet – no sour or bitter in particular, but it DOES have Umami in SPADES! (Foodie jargon alert.)
So here is what I do.
I slice a large onion (or you know, whatever onion I have) and then I put it in the wok with a largiesh splash of canola oil. Or olive oil. Whatever I have etc etc. Then I dice an eggplant and put that in too. I then let the eggplant and onion fry away (and stick occasionally) while I cut up the other vegetables. Sometimes I use – red capsicum sliced into strips, roughly chopped bok choy, snow peas, zucchini cut into batons, sliced mushrooms, chinese or calabrese broccoli, green capsicum, julienne carrots, diagonally-sliced celery…whatever.
I would then chop up three large cloves of garlic and threw that into the wok as well, stirring it up well, and scraping some of the eggplant/onion/oil scumble off the bottom. You can make with this less oil if you add some water as well – the water will cook the eggplant and then will evaporate and the eggplant will then start to fry again.
Anyway, I also dice one and a half chicken thigh fillets as well (Because the kids get the other half-a-one in their pathetically un-chilli’d stirfry), and then put them in the wok too. I stirred it around, (the onion and eggplant should be very cooked and brown at this stage) and I then put in a largeish glug of soy sauce and a big pour of sweet chilli sauce. (Probably a couple of tablespoons of each – proper tbspns – but I never measure these kinds of things.) I let it all come to the ferocious bubble and become sticky and caramelly, and then threw in all the other vegetables (and a splash of water, when it becomes apparent that the bok choy isn’t going to do it all on its own).
I then put in one and a half packets of noodles (As you may guess, the other half packet were to go with the half-thigh for the kid’s noodles with no chilli and small vegetables so as not to disgust Cadar with their disgusting vegetably disgustingness.)
Stir it all around some more until the noodles are all saturated with sauce and not clumping together like chewy gluten strands.
By this stage the eggplant will be all disintegraty and melty and will pretty well just be a sauce with occasional little melty-chewy bits of caramelised eggplant skin and it is all unbelievably SUCCULENT.
And as long as the chicken is not raw, which it certainly shouldn’t be, and the vegetables are the way you like, it is ready to eat! Try it with no chicken, or with tofu or some other such abomination if you are that way inclined. And add more chilli!
Apologies if I have mixed up my tenses – this was originally written for my facebook notes and I have edited it for here.