This stir-fry uses bold aromatics like garlic (tons of it), ginger, scallions and a serrano chile to build the eggplant and green beans into a main dish you will want to make over and over again.
Chopping and dicing all the fresh ingredients takes some time, but the cooking moves quickly, so you’ll want to make sure to have everything in its place before you fire the pan.
Sometimes I finish the dish with fresh basil; other times, cilantro. Each herb takes the dish in a noticeably different, but equally fantastic, direction. Perhaps serve both herbs on the side and let your family decide.
- 3/4 cup vegetable stock
- 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- 1/4 cup canola oil
- 4 large garlic cloves, minced
- 1 piece peeled fresh ginger (1 inch), minced (about 1 tablespoon)
- 2 scallions, white and greens, thinly sliced on a diagonal (1/2 cup)
- 1 serrano pepper, stemmed, seeded and ribs removed, minced
- 1/2 pound green beans, trimmed and cut in half crosswise
- 1 1/2 pounds eggplant, cut into 1/2-inch dice
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce
- Steamed jasmine rice, for serving
- 2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
- Chopped fresh basil and/or cilantro leaves, for serving
Whisk together the stock, sesame oil, and sugar in a small bowl. Set aside.
Heat the canola oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the garlic, ginger, half the scallion slices, and the serrano pepper and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Add the green beans and cook, stirring almost constantly, for 1 minute. Add the eggplant, stirring it until it is well distributed and coated in oil, and let it cook, undisturbed, until it begins to brown, 1 minute.
Pour the soy sauce over the vegetables and toss to coat evenly. Cook, stirring frequently, until the eggplant is tender and the beans are tender-crisp, 3 minutes. Add the stock mixture and let simmer, stirring occasionally, until most of the liquid has been absorbed (the dish should not be watery, but a thin sauce should remain), 3 to 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and stir in the remaining scallions.
Serve immediately over the rice with a spoonful of the pan juices, a sprinkle of toasted sesame seeds, and the chopped herbs.
Add an extra serrano pepper or include some seeds if you want to kick up the heat.
Asian eggplant varieties are best here, but you can use other varieties if needed.