Bean Paste Beef and Eggplant
Some time ago, I took a look at Lee Kum Kee’s Spicy Bean Sauce and then featured it in a Ma Po Style Eggplant dish (which gave effect to the intended use of the jarred condiment). As I mentioned in the latter post, I was not impressed with the Lee Kum Kee product as a proper ‘Ma Po’ style sauce but I still found it pretty decent and, here, I have paired it once again with eggplant. This time, however, I am using the slender Japanese variety rather than the fatter European ones, and I have replaced the ground pork with strips of beef…
- Beefsteak, sliced across the grain in strips;
- ½ tsp. Garlic Salt;
- 1 tbsp.. Cornstarch;
- 1 ½ tbsp.. Vegetable Oil;
- ¼ cup LKK Spicy Bean Sauce (or a sweet bean sauce of your choice);
- 1 tsp. Chili Paste (or more or less to taste);
- 1 tbsp. Sugar;
- 4 tbsp. Rice Wine;
- 3 Scallions, cut in 2 inch lengths;
- 2 small slender Asian Eggplants; cut into 2 inch batons.
Toss the beef with the salt and cornstarch and mix well to absorb them into the meat as much as possible. Stir in the oil to coat the pieces and set aside for an hour or so.
Mix the Bean sauce, chili, sugar and rice wine together in a bowl and set aside.
When you are ready to cook, deep fry the beef in good clean oil at moderate temperature just until nicely browned with a few little crispy spots here and there.
Het a couple of tablespoons of oil in a pan over very high heat and just as the oil begins to smoke, throw in the scallion followed by the eggplant. Stir and toss rapidly, letting the pieces blister and darken somewhat. The high heat will make the onion very sweet and give a nice smoky taste to the eggplant.
Finally, add back the beef and the sauce mix and stir quickly for a few minutes to get the sauce really bubbling and hot then plate and serve immediately.