Hui Kitchen's Authentic Chinese Braised Eggplants with Tree Mushrooms
I learned to make this dish from Chef Hui of Hui Kitchen in Santiago, Spain. Rich and I were starving for fresh vegetables, having discovered that few restaurants along the Camino de Santiago offer freshly cooked vegetables. Once we discovered Hui Kitchen, we dined there every day during our last week in Europe. We especially loved this spicy eggplant dish and were thrilled when Chef Hui welcomed us into his kitchen to teach us how to prepare this quick and flavorful recipe.
Servings: 2 people
- 2 tablespoons peanut oil or canola oil
- 1 tablespoon minced ginger
- 1 teaspoon red pepper paste
- 1 - 2 cups water
- 1 -2 teaspoons soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon rice wine or any dry white wine
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 1 teaspoon msg optional
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1/4 red bell pepper 3/8-inch dice
- 1/4 green bell pepper 3/8-inch dice
- 1-2 long Asian eggplants cut into 2-inch strips about 3/8-inch thick
- 1 cup rehydrated dried tree ear mushrooms 1/3 cup dried. Once rehydrated, clip off tough stems and cut into bite-size pieces
- 1 teaspoon - 1 tablespoon Potato starch with 1/4 cup water
Prepare rice in advance.
Add oils to pan until hot. Stir in ginger and red pepper paste. Stir in broth and bring to a near boil.
Stir in soy sauce, salt, msg, sugar, and rice wine. Add eggplants, and cook until half tender*. Add peppers, and mushrooms. Cook until done, adding extra water if needed. At this time add the rice vinegar.** When the eggplants are tender, stir some water into the potato starch until smooth. Stir into eggplant mixture and allow to thicken. Cook for another minute or two until the starch turns a translucent color and the mixture is about the consistency of a light syrup. Plate and serve with hot rice.
*This dish takes a few minutes longer than represented in the video. Because Chef Hui is cooking for a restaurant, part of his preparation for the day's menu is to precook the eggplants a little in advance. He does this so that he can get the food out to his customers quickly. In this recipe, we are beginning with raw eggplant, so the cooking takes a few minutes longer (5 minutes or so). It is also why we may use a little more water as the longer cooking time may require replacing water that has evaporated.
**The amount of vinegar you use is a personal choice. The first time we were served this dish at Hui Kitchen, it had a rather distinctive vinegar taste. We loved it! The next time, the vinegar was not so pronounced, and we still loved it. When I make this dish at home, I vary the amount of vinegar I use for a different experience each time.
Calories: 258kcal | Carbohydrates: 30g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 28mg | Potassium: 797mg | Fiber: 9g | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 573IU | Vitamin C: 36mg | Calcium: 32mg | Iron: 1mg