More and more people are eating different kinds of food from other countries in Korea these days. Among those popular foreign foods, today, I want to share a Chinese- inspired dish made with eggplant. It is a spicy stir-fried eggplant dish called in Korean. I bet you will love how easy it is to make, as well as how tasty it is. Let’s get started.
Yield: 2 Servings
Short Korean Lesson
- JungGuk (중국) = China
- IlBon (일본) = Japan
- 2 Cups Eggplant
- ½ Cup Ground Meat (Pork, Beef, Chicken)
- ¼ Cup Green Onion
- 2 Tbsp Green Hot Pepper
- 2 Tbsp Red Hot Pepper
- 1 Tbsp Garlic
- 1 Tbsp Cooking Oil
- 3 Tbsp Chili Bean Paste (Doubanjiang)
- 1 Tbsp Oyster Sauce
- 2 tsp Sugar
- 2 tsp Vinegar
- 1 tsp Soy Sauce
Prepare 1 long and thin Asian eggplant, but you can also use the eggplant found in Western countries if that is all you have.
Cut the eggplant into around ½-inch cubes.
We also need ¼ cup worth of finely chopped green onions along with 2 Tbsp each of finely chopped red hot pepper and green hot pepper.
In a small mixing bowl, combine all the ingredients for the sauce: 3 Tbsp chili bean paste (Doubanjiang), 1 Tbsp oyster sauce, 2 tsp sugar, 2 tsp vinegar, and 1 tsp Soy Sauce.
Mix everything together. Since we need to fry the eggplant quickly, you need to prepare the sauce ahead of time.
Add 1 Tbsp of cooking oil in a heated pan. Then add the minced garlic and green onion. Fry for about 30 seconds on high.
After 30 seconds, quickly add 1⁄2 cup of ground meat in the pan.
Fry the meat until it starts to turns brown on high.
Then add the eggplant and sauce into the pan. Fry it for about 4 minutes on high. Keep stirring it so that all the ingredients will get covered with the sauce evenly.
After 4 minutes, add the chopped hot peppers and fry one more minute.
It is done. That was easy, right? It is ready to serve now.
I like to eat my stir-fried eggplant dish with freshly cooked jasmine rice and some well fermented kimchi. Put some of the eggplant dish on the rice and you can enjoy it as a quick one dish meal.
The chili bean paste called “Doubanjiang” used to not be common in Korea. However, more Koreans are familiar with it now because they make Chinese or some other Asian food at home. Anyway, I thought it would be interesting to share what to use if you don’t have it by using Korean ingredients. I will show you 2 different ways.
The first way is a shortcut version using this Korean seasoned soy bean paste called ssamjang in Korean. We normally use it to eat Korean grilled meat. Add 2 Tbsp of seasoned soy bean paste, 1 Tbsp of crushed dried hot pepper, and 2 tsp of water in a small mixing bowl and mix everything together. It is not as salty as dubanjiang and slightly sweeter, but it will taste great anyway.
The other way is use normal soy bean paste and other seasoning ingredients. Simply mix soybean paste, hot pepper powder, these hot pepper flakes (or crushed dried hot peppers), sugar, and some fish sauce or soy sauce. I used this homemade sauce instead of dubanjiang for some dishes and I liked it even better. Keep it in the refrigerator. You can try it too.