January 14, 2007

Chinese Eggplant & Green Beans with Cellophane Noodles

1 Chinese eggplant, halved and thickly sliced
2 large hand-fulls of green beans, halved with ends trimmed
1 cup fried bean curd*, cubed
1 inch piece ginger, minced
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 small chili pepper, minced
1/2 cup chicken or vegetable stock
1/4 cup minced green onion
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons oyster sauce
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon chili paste
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon sesame oil
4 bunches cellophane noodles

Combine broth, soy sauce, oyster sauce, chili paste, sugar, green onions, and cornstarch in a small bowl and set aside. Add oil and sesame oil to a large skillet or wok with a lid and set over a high flame. Add ginger, garlic, and chili pepper. Stir fry for 1 minute until fragrant. Add the eggplant and stir-fry for 1-2 minutes until most of the oil is absorbed. Add the green beans and stir fry 1 minute. Add the broth mixture and the fried bean curd, bring to a boil and cover the pot. Put the noodles in cold water and set the timer for 5 minutes. After the five minutes, cut the noodles in half and add them to the pot. Saute for 2-3 minutes until the noodles and tender and the liquid has been absorbed.
Yield: enough for 2 as main course, or 4 along side another dish.

*Most Asian groceries have fried bean curd in the same sort of blocks you buy tofu in.

My thoughts:
I'll be the first to admit, this is not the prettiest dish. It is, however, extremely delicious. The noodles and eggplant soak up the yummy sauce and it is rather spicy. It is very quick to make, which makes it a great meal when you come home tired and hungry after a foray to the Korean grocery.