We have a good idea that our readers adore Lao Gan Ma (Godmother) sauces. But we’ve already demonstrated generous servings on noodles and rice, so why not a veggie? Try this Steamed Chinese Eggplant with Spicy Lao Gan Ma for a simple and flavorful side dish that goes great with any hot sauce.
I’m crossing my fingers that you’ll be able to salvage enough Lao Gan Ma from the bottle’s dregs. As an added bonus, I am delighted to share my secret for maintaining the eggplant’s purple coloration throughout the cooking process and beyond.
I included them into a steamed Chinese eggplant dish. I know this is probably not news to any of you expert gardeners, but I couldn’t be happier. Do you recognize the difference?
Still, preparing eggplant can be just as aggravating. After being cooked, the once-beautiful purple tint dulls to a dull grey. In dishes like our Cantonese eggplant casserole, the only way I knew to keep the eggplant’s color was to cook it.
What method, other than deep-frying, can be used to preserve the eggplant’s purple coloration after it has been cooked? The solution is salt and/or vinegar.
As soon as eggplant is exposed to oxygen in the air, the oxidation process begins. In order to prepare this dish, I soaked eggplant for three minutes in a solution of vinegar and water. Since we will be steaming the eggplant, it is acceptable to soak them.
Salting the eggplant for 10 minutes before using it in a stir-fry is recommended. Even though you could lose some moisture, keeping the purple hue is well worth it. Remember that you’ll need to apply both of these immediately after slicing the eggplant.
Now that we get that out of the way, the rest of this dish will go down like a breeze!
- 450g of Japanese or Chinese eggplant
- 4 minced cloves of garlic
- 1 minced scallion
- 1/4 cup of white vinegar
- 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil
- 2 tablespoons of light soy sauce
- 1-1 1/2 tablespoons of Lao Gan Ma chili sauce
- 2 teaspoon of oyster sauce
- 1 teaspoon of Chinese black vinegar
- 1 teaspoon of sesame oil
- 1/2 teaspoon of sugar
- Get the steamer ready. Check out our post on how to set up a steamer with no special equipment if you’re not sure how to get started. Prepare the steamer by heating water on low heat.
- Separate each eggplant lengthwise into thirds, then cut each third into eighths or tenths.
- Two gallons of water and a quarter cup of white vinegar should be mixed together and placed in a large container. The eggplant needs to be submerged in the vinegar water for three minutes. Then, take the eggplant out of the dish and squeeze as much liquid out of it as you can.
- Put them on a plate with a rim that can withstand high heat, and then carefully put that dish into the steamer. Wrap it up, then crank up the stove. Cook the eggplant for 8-10 minutes in the steamer.
- To make the sauce, stir together the Chinese black vinegar, light soy sauce, oyster sauce, sugar, sesame oil, and chili sauce.
- Then, take the eggplant out of the steamer (there’s no need to drain the liquid) and drizzle the sauce over it evenly. Garnish with the scallions and minced garlic. To simplify the next step, keep the garlic and scallions in a couple of tight lines.
- Toss the garlic and scallions in the oil that you’ve heated up in a small skillet until it starts to smoke. Hot or cold, serve it however you like. This meal can be prepared in advance if it is to be served cold as an appetizer.