½ lb. ground pork
2 Tbsp. (1 Tbsp. and 1 Tbsp.) soy sauce, divided
1 Tbsp. rice wine or dry sherry
2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1 Tbsp. chili-bean sauce*
2 to 3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. ginger, minced
1 lb. Japanese eggplant, cut in ¾-inch cubes
1 Tbsp. sugar
½ cup chicken broth
1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
2 tsp. cornstarch
2 Tbsp. water
1 tsp. sesame oil
Toasted sesame seeds, for garnish
Chopped scallions, for garnish
• In a bowl, mix the ground pork with 1 tablespoon of the soy sauce and the rice wine or sherry.
• In a wok or large skillet with a lid, heat the vegetable oil over high heat until smoking. Add the chili-bean sauce, garlic, ginger and a pinch of salt and cook until fragrant, about 20 seconds.
• Add the pork and stir-fry until browned, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the eggplant and stir-fry until it begins to soften, about 3 minutes. Add the sugar and remaining soy sauce and cook, stirring, for about 30 seconds.
• Stir in the chicken broth, cover and cook over moderate heat until the eggplant is tender, about 10 minutes. Add the balsamic vinegar.
• In a small bowl, make a slurry mixing the cornstarch and water. Add to wok. Stir until the sauce thickens, about 15 seconds.
• Drizzle the sesame oil over the eggplant and transfer to a serving platter. Garnish with toasted sesame seeds and chopped scallions. Serve.
* Chili-bean sauce is available in the Asian foods aisle of most grocery stores.