A delicious, intensely flavoured stir fry dish combining tender eggplant and pork with a sauce that packs a punch!! My Pork Stir Fry with Eggplant dish is proof that midweek meals can be quick and super tasty too!!
I have my Hong Kong born husband to thank for introducing me to a vast array of Asian dishes. Having worked part-time in Chinese restaurants during his university days, he knows a thing or two about great tasting Asian food. This Pork Stir Fry with Eggplant is a family favourite!!
The ingredients l use are all easy to find in supermarkets, some of which you probably already have in your pantry. My stand out ingredient which add massive flavour to this dish is shrimp paste which can be bought as tablets (similar to a stock or bouillon cube) or in a jar with oil (see photo). The tablet version is called Belachan and is used extensively in Malaysian seafood and vegetable dishes. Once you’ve tried a dish with Belachan Shrimp Paste, you’re hooked for life! It’s available in the Asian section of supermarkets in Australia. If for some reason, you can’t get hold of it, shrimp paste in a jar will also give you lots of flavour.
The eggplants need to be tender but not mushy. I place them in a steamer for about 10 minutes. If you don’t have a steamer, all is not lost (this is where the microwave steps in). See below for instructions.
Preparation Time: 10 minutes Cooking Time: 20 minutes Serves: 4-5
This is the sort of recipe that will have you on the move. There’s no waiting around for things to marinate, cool or simmer. While the eggplants are steaming, you can get on with preparing the rest of the dish.
- 500 g / 18 oz minced (ground) pork
- 1 tbsp dark soy sauce
- 2 tbsp soy sauce (regular)
- 1/2 tsp of each, sesame oil & white pepper
- 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped or grated
- 1/2 tbsp ginger, finely grated
- 1 small onion or 2-3 eschallots, thinly sliced (Note 1)
- 3 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 tbsp Chinese cooking wine or dry sherry
- 2 tbsp shrimp paste or 1/2 Belachan tablet (Note 2)
- 1/2 tsp Hoisin sauce (for sweetness)
- 2 medium eggplants (Note 3)
- 10 green beans (Note 4)
- Place the pork, 1 tbsp dark soy sauce, 1 tbsp regular soy sauce (the remainder will be added later), sesame oil and white pepper in a bowl and mix. Cover with cling wrap and refrigerate while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
- Put the prepared eggplants in a steamer and steam until tender (8-10 mins). The eggplants are ready when there is just a little resistance when pierced with a toothpick. Remove from steamer and set aside on a plate.
- Heat 1 tbsp oil (the remainder of the oil will be used later) in a medium frypan over medium high heat. Add 1/2 the garlic and sauté until aromatic (30 secs). Turn heat up to high and add the pork, breaking it up with a wooden spoon until there are no pink bits (5 mins).
- Remove the pork from the frypan and set aside in a bowl.
- Turn heat down to medium high and add 2 tbsp of oil to the same frypan. Add the remainder of the garlic, ginger and onions. Sauté until the onions have softened (2-3 mins). Stir through 2 tbsp of shrimp paste or 1/2 Belachan tablet (break up the tablet in the pan with a wooden spoon). Add the beans and sauté for 1 minute.
- Tip the pork (and the juices from the bowl) into the pan, add the eggplants (and any liquid that has accumulated on bottom of the plate), 1 tbsp soy sauce, 1/2 tsp Hoisin sauce, 1 tbsp dry sherry or Chinese cooking wine and stir. Be careful when you adjust the seasoning as the soy sauces add to the salt content. Taste first before you add!!
- Serve over rice. For a little heat, sprinkle with finely sliced red chillies.
- I prefer to use eschallots as they are sweeter and don’t take as long to soften, otherwise a brown onion is fine.
- This tablet form of shrimp paste (Belachan) has amazing flavour, and is my stand out ingredient. It can be found in the Asian section of supermarkets in Australia. As an alternative, shrimp paste in a jar (as pictured) will also add lots of flavour.
- Peel the skin from the eggplants. Cut slices of 1.5 cm / 1/2″ thickness lengthwise. Cut these slices into strips 1.5 cm / 1/2″ in width. Cut the strips into 5 cm / 2″ long pieces. If you’d like to be a bit fancy, cut the strips on the diagonal as shown in the photo. In case you don’t have a steamer, place the eggplant pieces in a bowl with 2 tbsp of water and cover with cling wrap. Place in microwave on medium -high power for 3 – 5 minutes. Check after 3 minutes. They are ready when you can pierce them with a toothpick. There should be just a little resistance.
- Cut the beans diagonally into 2 cm / 3/4″ long pieces.
Pork Stir Fry with Eggplant somehow always tastes better when my husband cooks it (anyway, that’s what l tell him!!).