Spicy Garlic Eggplant & Ground Pork Noodles

Serving Size: 4

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.

Ingredients

  • 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

Directions

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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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