STIR-FRIED EGGPLANT, POTATOES & PEPPERS
Dish made famous in Shandong, made of stir-fried eggplant, potatoes, and bell peppers called Di San Xian (). A poetic translation of the dish’s name roughly translates to “three worldly blessings.”
All three veggies are traditionally fried before being combined in a sauce at the end of this dish’s preparation. It’s called “zou-you,” or “walking the oil” in Japanese. Rather than deep-frying the vegetables, I browned them in a pan using a shallow-frying method. In addition, I chose to finish browning the eggplant at the end because it absorbs a lot of oil if you do not.
You may recognize this meal if you’ve had it before, but I opted to use red and yellow bell peppers instead of the customary purple and yellow to add a little more color. Green bell peppers were not readily available, so I used red. Regarding this meal, don’t be fooled by the bright colors!
The vegetables in your garden are about to ripen; therefore, I think this recipe is well timed. It likely bears your name. Cooking times for these three vegetables vary, so keep that in mind: the potato needs the most time, while peppers cook quickly. If you follow this recipe, this dish is guaranteed to become your new favorite!
- 3 cloves of garlic(smashed and peeled)
- 2 scallions (chopped)
- 1½ tbsp. of cornstarch
- 3 tablespoons water
- 2 pcs. of long Chinese eggplants (cut into large bite-sized pieces)
- 1 large potato
- ½ red bell pepper
- ½ orange bell pepper
- 4 tbsp. of oil
- 1 tbsp. of Shaoxing wine
- 2 tbsp. of light soy sauce
- ½ tsp. of sugar
- ¼ tsp. of white pepper
- ½ tsp. of sesame oil
- Salt to taste
- Let’s first get the following things ready: A tiny dish of water and cornstarch is all needed for this recipe. Begin by putting everything else aside.
- Then, using a clean kitchen towel, dry all the vegetables before chopping them into large, bite-sized pieces. Keep the sliced potatoes and eggplants fresh by not allowing them to sit around for too long before cooking.
- We’re now ready to begin cooking. The wok should be heated to medium high before adding the oil. Add the potato and cook for about 8 minutes until it is tender but firm to the bite. To keep them from burning, give them a quick stir every few minutes or so. Add the bell peppers and sauté for an additional minute before adding the rest of the ingredients. Put it everything in a bowl and leave it there for a few minutes.
- The wok should still have some oil in it. Brown the eggplant in the pan with the onion and garlic. Bill taught me this technique: distribute the eggplant pieces in a single layer, cover the lid for a minute, uncover, mix the eggplant to avoid scorching, and repeat. Continue to cook the eggplant for a further two or three times, or until it is soft to the bite. Serve on a plate.
- If the wok is still very dry, add a little oil. The wok I used was already well-oiled, so I didn’t have to add any more. Add the garlic and heat for a few seconds before adding all of the vegetables back to the wok to finish cooking them all together. Add the Shaoxing wine, light soy sauce, sugar, white pepper, and sesame oil to the wok. Mix and mash everything together thoroughly. On high heat, toss in cornstarch slurry and scallions, and cook for a further minute or two until the cornstarch has dissolved. Add salt to taste and stir a few times to coat the vegetables in the sauce.