6 cloves garlic, minced
2 Chinese eggplants, roll cut*
1 green chili minced
2 cups green beans
8 oz fresh or frozen mussels
1/2 cup green onions
1/2 cup chicken stock
1/4 cup dark soy sauce
2 tablespoons fresh ginger, cut into small sticks
2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
2 tablespoons oyster sauce
2 tablespoons of ground pork
1 tablespoon balsamic or black rice vinegar
1 tablespoon chili paste
1 teaspoon corn starch mixed with 1 teaspoon of water
vegetable oil for frying
First, stir together broth, chili paste, vinegar, soy sauce, hoisin sauce and oyster sauce. Set aside. Then, heat 3 inches of oil in a wok to 375 degrees ** . Fry the green beans for 1 ½ – 2 minutes or until they start to wrinkle. Remove to a paper towel lined plate. Fry the eggplants for 2 minutes until they start to turn golden. Remove to a paper towel lined plate. Pour all but 2 tablespoons of oil in the pan. Add the green onions, garlic, chili pepper, and ginger. Saute for 1 minute until fragrant and then add the pork. Cook the pork until it is no longer pink, breaking it up with a spoon as it cooks. Add the sauce mixture and the mussels. Bring to a fast boil and cook for 5 minutes until the mussels are tender and the sauce has reduced slightly. Add the green beans, eggplant, and corn starch mixture. Cook 1-2 more minutes until the sauce thickens. Serve over white rice.
* To “roll cut”: cut the first piece on the diagonal at 45 degrees. Turn the eggplant a third and cut another diagonal piece out of it. Continue until the whole eggplant has been cut up. If the eggplant is too big, cut into half lengthwise first, then roll cut. The chunks of eggplant will look almost triangular. Roll cut vegetables are perfect for flash frying. Alternately you could the eggplant on a diagonal.
** Rather than measure the temperature, I turn to heat to high and leave it for about 15 minutes until you can smell the oil.
Flash frying the vegetables, while it does make it a slightly less healthy meal, does help the vegetables maintain their crispness and color. Anyway, I loved this meal, spicy yet not burning, the sauce was great and the mussels were the perfect touch. It is also super fast and easy to make.