Chinese eggplant and pork stir-fried in a spicy fermented bean sauce mix (douban…

Chinese eggplant and pork stir-fried in a spicy fermented bean sauce mix (doubanjiang 豆瓣酱), for a not super authentic yu xiang eggplant (魚香茄子) dish, but regardless, it’s so good with lots of rice.
In a bowl, mix about 1 ½ tbsp doubanjiang with a splash of soy sauce, roughly 1 tbsp chinkiang vinegar, ½ cup chicken broth, 1 tsp sugar, a generous splash of shaoxing wine, some salt and ground white pepper. Stir well and set aside.
Cut about 1 lb. of skinny Chinese eggplants into 2-3 inch batons. In a super hot large cast iron pan on med-high *without oil*, wilt the eggplants for about 3 min or so, stirring occasionally. Eggplants are basically sponges, and this step will prevent them from absorbing too much oil or sauce when you stir-fry them. When slightly wilted, remove eggplants from heat and set aside. Work in batches if needed.
In the same pan on med-high, add a bit of neutral oil and stir-fry ½ lb. pork with some minced garlic and ginger until golden and fragrant, about 3 min. Add in the reserved eggplants and doubanjiang sauce mixture, stir-fry until well-combined. Turn heat down to medium / medium-low and let things simmer for a few minutes for flavors to bond. A minute or two before serving, stir in a slurry of 1 tsp cornstarch mixed in about 1 ½ tbsp room temp water. This will thicken up the sauce a bit and make things glossy, but it’s totally optional.
To serve: Drizzle on some sesame oil, stir in some sliced scallions, toasted sesame seeds. Spoon over hot rice and set out some chili-garlic sauce (which you can find in most Asian grocery stores) if you want things a bit spicier. ???

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