Steamed Eggplants with Chile Sauce (Hong You Qie Zi)

Steamed Eggplants with Chile Sauce (Hong You Qie Zi)

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2 large eggplants or an equivalent amount of slender Asian eggplants (6-8, depending on size)
3 tbsp light soy sauce
1 1/2 tbsp Chinkiang or black Chinese vinegar
2 tsp sugar
2 tbsp chili oil with chile flakes
1 tsp sesame oil
1 scallion, green parts only, thinly sliced on the bias (optional)


If you are using large eggplants, trim them, cut them in half, and sprinkle the cut sides lightly with salt.  Leave for at last half an hour to draw out the bitter juices.  Asian eggplants do not need this treatment and can be left whole (our Asian eggplants were on the hefty side, so we cut them in half, but didn't salt them - we also used a few less than the recipe called for since they were on the large side).

Steam the eggplants over high heat for 5-10 minutes, until tender.  Peel them i desired.  Leave to cool and then cut into chunks (tiny Asian eggplants can simply be halved lengthwise).

Combine soy sauce, vinegar and sugar in a small bowl.  Stir to combine.  Add the oils and the scallion.

Serve eggplant with sauce.