Ma Po Eggplant
This is one of my favorite Chinese dishes, made easy for the home cook. It’s a spicy, savory pork sauté served over roasted eggplant. I adore eggplant and make this dish all the time as part of a multicourse Asian spread or just by itself alongside a bowl of steamed white rice.
Watch Andrew make this recipe:
Ma Po Eggplant
- 1 pound ground pork, preferably from the shoulder
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 1/2 tablespoons chile bean paste (toban djan)
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 6 Asian eggplants, halved lengthwise
- 1 tablespoon peanut oil, plus more for brushing
- Kosher salt
- 1/4 cup rice wine or sake
- 2/3 cup chicken stock
- 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
- 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh ginger, minced
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 3 scallions, minced, plus thinly sliced scallions for garnish
- 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
- Cilantro and fresh red chiles, for garnish
- Steamed rice, for serving
In a large bowl, mix the pork with the vinegar, cornstarch, 1 tablespoon of chile bean paste and 1 tablespoon of the soy sauce. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to 8 hours.
Preheat the broiler and position the rack 8 inches from the heat. Brush the eggplants with peanut oil and season with salt. Arrange the eggplants cut side up on a rimmed baking sheet and broil for 10 minutes turning once, until lightly charred and tender.
Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk the rice wine, chicken stock, toasted sesame oil and soy sauce. Reserve.
In a wok or large skillet, heat the 1 tablespoon of peanut oil until shimmering. Add the ginger, garlic, scallions, remaining chile bean paste and sugar, and stir-fry over high heat until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the pork and stir-fry until no pink remains, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the liquid seasonings and bring to a boil. Simmer over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes.
Arrange the eggplants cut side up on a platter and spoon the pork on top. Garnish with thinly sliced scallions, cilantro and red pepper. Serve with steamed rice.