Hot diggity! This was really the best spicy aubergine I’ve made! The “hot diggity” is an expression I learned from my mother; country Texas backwoods but not deplorable 😀 Anyway, I don’t know if it was the superior quality of the Japanese aubergine or the new twist with ground chicken instead of lamb or veal, but I loved this. But then again, the recipe wasn’t exactly the same (it never is), because my foot was kind of on the accelerator with the garlic and ginger. I also used Vietnamese chili garlic paste instead of sambal oelek because I felt like it. I also felt like adding the spinach which goes with everything 😉
The aubergine looked as if they were painted a dark shade of lilac. My husband says that “he’s hearing” that they are starting to paint less than appealing fresh vegetables in Bangladesh before displaying for sale. Sounds bizarre but I know that when I was there, they used to paint the eye and gum areas of old fish to sell as fresh. Bangladeshis are clever, the Nigerians of South Asia 🙂
At this point in the preparation, I just ate some directly from the skillet because it looked good.
And of course I took another taste after adding the spinach. Irresistible!
Spicy Aubergine with Chicken and Spinach
2 tbsp Vietnamese chili garlic paste
2 tbsp tamari soy sauce
2 tbsp rice vinegar
2 tbsp Chinese Shao Shing cooking wine
1 tbsp sugar
7 tbsp peanut oil
2-3 narrow, Japanese aubergine, vertically quartered and cut into chaos chunks
1 lb ground chicken
4 large garlic cloves, minced
1 big ( 1 inch – 2 inch) piece fresh ginger, minced
5 oz fresh baby spinach (about 2 large handfuls)
Mix the chili paste, soy sauce, vinegar, cooking wine and sugar together in a small bowl, then set aside.
Divide the peanut oil into 3 small bowls of 3 tbsp, 2 tbsp, 2tbsp.
Heat 3 tbsp of peanut oil in a wok or large skillet and add half the aubergine, cooking until lightly browned. Remove and set aside. Add 2 tbsp of peanut oil to the skillet and the other half of the aubergine, cooking until lightly browned. Remove and set aside.
Add the last 2 tbsp of peanut oil to the skillet along with the chicken, garlic and ginger. Cook until all the pink has disappeared from the chicken. Return the cooked aubergine to the skillet and stir in the chili mixture. Cover and simmer for about 6 minutes. Stir in the spinach and cook until the spinach is just wilted.
Serve sprinkled with sliced scallions.