Notes: Take care when removing eggplant from microwave, as hot steam escapes. Don't let the eggplant brown while in microwave.
About the Author: Yvonne Ruperti is a food writer, recipe developer, former bakery owner, and author of The Complete Idiot's Guide To Easy Artisan Bread. You can also watch her culinary stylings on the America's Test Kitchen television show. She presently lives in Singapore working on her new baking cookbook, and as a recipe developer for HungryGoWhere Singapore. Check out her blog: shophousecook.com . Follow Yvonne on Twitter.
Read more: Chicken Dinners: Sesame Chicken and Eggplant
- Yield:serves 4
- Active time: 45 minutes
- Total time:45 minutes
- 1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 4 tablespoons water
- 4 tablespoons soy sauce
- 3 tablespoons sesame oil, divided
- 4 teaspoons packed light brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 5 medium cloves garlic, divided (1 minced, 4 sliced thin)
- 1-inch piece ginger, peeled, minced
- 1 pound boneless, skinless, chicken breast, trimmed of fat and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 1 1/2 pounds eggplant, ends trimmed, cut into 1-inch cubes
- Kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 Thai chili, seeded and minced
- 1 bunch scallions, white parts sliced thin, green parts cut into 1-inch lengths
- 2 tablespoons lightly toasted sesame seeds
- Rice, for serving
In small bowl, stir cornstarch into water; set aside. In large bowl, whisk soy sauce, 1 tablespoon sesame oil, sugar, vinegar, minced garlic, and ginger. Add chicken and toss to coat. Set aside while you prepare eggplant.
Place eggplant in colander and toss with 1 teaspoon salt. Working in two batches, spread half of the eggplant into single layer onto microwave safe plate. Microwave on high power until eggplant has shriveled to about 1/2 its size, 8 to 15 minutes. Transfer cooked eggplant to colander to drain while second batch is microwaving.
In 12-inch skillet (or wok), heat vegetable oil and 1 tablespoon sesame oil over medium heat until shimmering. Add eggplant and cook until tender and beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and chili, cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
Move eggplant over to side of pan. Add remaining tablespoon sesame oil to pan and increase heat to medium high. Add chicken with marinade to center of the pan and cook, stirring, until chicken is just cooked through, about 4 minutes.
Stir in cornstarch mixture and cook, stirring everything together, until mixture is bubbling and thickened. Stir in scallions and sesame seeds. Season to taste with salt and serve with rice.