Szechwan eggplant is one of our favorite dishes. Yum, yum, yum. We make huge batches of it so we can eat it throughout the week. Just can’t beat the meaty and succulent eggplant, the kick of the hot peppers, and the savory black bean sauce. Below is our vegetarian adaptation to the Wei-Chuan’s Chinese Cuisine Szechwan Style recipe. We added basil as a garnish because we love the way it tastes. Enjoy!
- 2 lbs Japanese eggplants, peeled, quartered lengthwise, and cut into 2 inch strips
- 2 c vegetable oil for frying
- 4 Morningstar Original (vegetarian) Sausage Patties
- 1 c Thai sweet basil leaves, chopped in half (optional garnish)
- 2 green onions, roughly chopped (optional garnish)
- 3 T hot bean paste (là dòu bàn jiàng, 辣豆瓣酱)
- 2 green onions, minced
- 2 T garlic, minced
- 2 T ginger, minced
- 1½ C veggie broth (1 Knorr Vegetarian Bouillon dissolved in 1½ cups boiling water)
- 2 T sugar
- 1½ T soy sauce
- 2 t sesame oil
- 1 T corn starch
- 1 T water
- 2 t rice vinegar
Toast the veggie sausage patties in the oven for 15 minutes on 400°F. Pulse the toasted patties a food processor (or chop manually) to a ground beef consistency.
Combine the Flavorings ingredients in a medium bowl. Combine the Sauce ingredients in a large bowl. Combine the Thickener ingredients in a small bowl.
Prepare the eggplant as described above.
Heat the veggie oil in a wok on high heat. Fry the peeled eggplant strips until soft (about 5 minutes). The eggplant will soak up the oil like a sponge, and then after more cooking, it will release most of the oil back to the pan. Remove the eggplant and discard all but 2 T of the cooking oil.
Stir-fry the Flavorings for 1 minute on medium high heat. Then add the Sauce and deep-fried eggplant. Stir and cook until the eggplant has soaked the flavors and is a soft, melt-in-your-mouth texture. Add the Thickener and stir. Add the optional basil and continue cooking for 1 more minute. Stir in the pulsed veggie sausage patties. Sprinkle with green onions and serve with white rice.