Some Like It Hot
Charred Sichuan-Style Eggplant
We all know that eggplant can absorb serious quantities of oil. That’s a negative when the oil in question is flavorless frying oil. But what if we flipped the script and put that sponge effect to work for me by providing the eggplant with a seriously tasty, spicy Sichuan-style chili oil to soak up? To speed cooking and get great char on the eggplant, we use the microwave to slightly dehydrate it before putting it in a smoking hot pan. Some green bell pepper, scallions, and fresh cilantro sprigs provide a fresh and cooling reprieve to the rest of the dish. But let’s be clear here, you want to serve this dish with plenty of steamed white rice to tame the heat.
The Sichuan Pantry
by Andrew Janjigian
In this article, you'll learn more about four ingredients that lend Sichuan food its complex flavor. These robustly flavored ingredients are featured in mapo tofu and many other Sichuan and Chinese dishes. They are readily available online and in Asian markets and are increasingly available in American supermarkets. They keep indefinitely and are worth seeking out to produce authentic flavors.