A quick and tasty supper dish with lots of Asian flavors, this delicious bowl of spiced pork, chili, eggplant, ginger, garlic and rice will be on the table within 30 minutes. Even less if you used that quick-cook rice but I like the chewy nuttiness of the whole grain variety which can take 35-40 minutes, so just use whatever rice you prefer.
You can cook the eggplant ahead – just keep it covered at room temperature if you’re planning to make the dish the same day. You can also marinate the pork overnight if you prefer – keep it covered in the fridge and bring it back to room temp before you’re ready to assemble the meal.
ASIAN PORK & EGGPLANT STIR-FRY
(Enough for 4)
7oz (200g) of rice
2 medium-large eggplants (aubergines) trimmed and each cut into about 8 wedges of equal size, skins slashed and lightly seasoned
3 tablespoons of hi-temp cooking oil such as avocado or peanut
3 tablespoons of tamari or soy sauce
Approx 9 oz (250g) of lean ground pork
1 tablespoon of toasted sesame oil
1 heaped teaspoon of freshly grated ginger
2 fat cloves of garlic, crushed
1/2 teaspoon of Chinese 5-spice powder
1 teaspoon of corn starch
4-6 green onions (scallions/spring onions) sliced finely on the diagonal
1 red chili, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon of honey
Fresh cilantro (coriander) to serve
Start by combining the pork with the sesame oil, 2 tablespoons of the tamari/soy sauce, ginger, garlic, Chinese 5-spice powder and cornstarch in a bowl. Mix well and set it aside (cover and chill if making ahead).
While the rice is cooking (according to packet instructions), heat the avocado or peanut oil in a large deep sauté pan or wok until it’s shimmering hot then cook the eggplant wedges, turning them once until they’re brown in patches on both sides and floppily soft. Transfer them to a bowl and sprinkle the remaining tablespoon of soy sauce over them – giving it a bit of a stir. You can do this ahead, just cover with cling film and leave them at room temp.
Once the rice has cooked and is ‘resting’ for a few minutes and you’re ready to put everything together, pour half a tablespoon of oil in the pan/wok, turn the heat up and stir fry the pork along with any remaining marinade for about 4 minutes.
When the pork is cooked through, add the sliced green onions, chili, honey and eggplant. Stir fry for another 2-3 minutes then serve the pork mixture on top of rice in warm bowls, topped with a few cilantro leaves.
You could also make this with ground turkey or chicken.