Spicy Garlic Eggplant & Ground Pork Noodles
This version isn’t Japanese, but Chinese — it’s prepared the way my mother taught me, pungent from a dose of Chinese black vinegar, a little spicy from a dollop of chili garlic sauce, couched in the Asian trinity of scallions, ginger, and (you guessed it) garlic, and rounded out with a touch of sugar, soy sauce, and savory ground pork.
- 0.5 Pound ground pork
- 0.5 cup water
- 0.125 tsp white pepper
- 0.125 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp salt, to taste
- 1 Tbsp of sugar, to taste
- 2 Tbsp Chinese or balsamic vinegar (or garlic-infused vinegar, instructions below)
- 1 tsp finely minced ginger
- 8 garlic cloves, finely minced
- oil for frying
- 1 Pound eggplant (2 medium Chinese eggplants or 1 American eggplant)
- 1 tsp Shaoxing rice wine
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 4 Tbsp soy sauce (divided)
- 4 green onions, chopped (divided)
- about 8 oz No Yolks Extra Broad Noodles
- Do ahead: If you'd like to use garlic-infused vinegar, just combine 1/4 cup vinegar with 4-5 crushed garlic cloves in a small 4-ounce jar, seal, and let sit. Two weeks is optimal, though you can certainly use it earlier if you like. You'll only use a few tablespoons in this dish, but the vinegar preserves the garlic and will keep for up to two months, so you'll have plenty of time to use it.
- Combine ground pork, about 2 tbsp of the chopped green onions, 1 tbsp soy sauce and 1 tsp sesame oil in a small bowl and mix until well-combined. Let marinate for 15-30 minutes. Meanwhile, slice eggplant into bite-sized pieces and set aside.
- Heat a tablespoon of oil in a large wok over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add the garlic, ginger and remaining green onion. Stirfry for 10 seconds, then add the ground pork and chili garlic sauce.
- When pork is fully cooked, add the eggplant and stir for a minute to mix everything together. Add the soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, salt, and both ground peppers, and stirfry for a few minutes more. Add the water. Once it boils, turn down the heat to medium-low, then cover and simmer for about 15 minutes, until the eggplant is fork-tender.
- Meanwhile, prepare the noodles according to package instructions. When done, divide evenly between four bowls. When eggplant is ready, divide evenly over noodles and serve immediately.
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