Eggplant Stir-Fry

3 tablespoons rice wine
3 tablespoons coconut water
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon rice-wine vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon lime juice (about 1/2 lime)
3 tablespoons canola oil, divided
2 Asian eggplants (about 1 pound), sliced lengthwise and cut into half moons
fine sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon grated ginger (about 1/2-inch piece)
1 garlic clove, grated
1 red chile pepper, thinly sliced
1/4 cup Thai basil leaves, torn, plus more for garnish
2 scallions, julienned, plus more for garnish
lime wedges, for serving

In a small bowl or measuring cup, combine rice wine, coconut water, soy sauce, rice-wine vinegar, honey, and lime juice.

Warm 1 tablespoon oil in a well-seasoned wok or nonstick sauté pan set over medium-high heat. Once oil is hot, add half the eggplant and sauté, moving around the pan quickly until softened and skin is blistered, about 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Remove to a plate. Add 1 tablespoon oil, sauté remaining eggplant, season, and reserve on plate.

Warm remaining 1 tablespoon oil in wok. Add ginger and garlic, sauté 1 minute. Pour in sauce and cook until thickened and sticky. Return eggplants and stir until sauce is absorbed. Add chile, basil, and scallions; toss to incorporate. Divide stir-fry among bowls and garnish with additional basil and scallion. Serve with wedges of lime.

Yield: 2 to 3 servings.


Joseph Erdos