I know that this is not a popular vegetable and it wasn't mine either growing up but now it's a different story... My kids & husband are not totally crazy about it but there are certain recipes that can hook them in and this is one such.
This recipe was inspired by the eggplant dish one finds in Chinese restaurants... you can make it as spicy as you want it and it goes great with some fried rice or even plain rice. For this, I use the long, slender chinese eggplants. The cornflour ensures that the sauce hugs the eggplant & gives it a nice sheen.
STIR FRIED EGGPLANT / BRINJALS (Chinese Style)
Long Chinese eggplants - 2, sliced into 2 inch pieces
Onion - 1 small, sliced thin (optional)
Garlic - 4 cloves, chopped
Oil - 2 tbsp (use half sesame oil if available)
Spring onion greens - for garnish (I didn't have any, unfortunately)
Chilli powder / red chilli flakes - half tsp (optional)
Salt - to taste
Soy sauce - 1 tbsp
Chilli sauce (e.g. Sriracha) - 1 tbsp
Vinegar - 1 tsp
Sugar - half tsp (optional)
Black pepper - to taste
Corn flour - 1-2 tsp (mixed with 3 tbsp cold water to form a thin paste)
1) Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a wide, shallow pan and fry the eggplant with a bit of salt and chilli powder (if using) on medium. Flip over after several minutes and cook the other side as well until they are tender. Remove from stove and keep aside.
2) In the same pan, heat the remaining tbsp of oil and add the garlic and sliced onions (if using) and fry till golden. Now add the cooked eggplant and cook for a few more minutes.
3) Combine all the sauce ingredients and add to the eggplant-onion stir fry and allow to combine. Cook for a few more minutes until it thickens. Garnish with spring onion tops & serve with rice.