CHINESE EGGPLANT DIP
1 firm eggplant
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 piece (1-inch long) ginger root, minced
1 green onion, minced, plus 1 tablespoon
sliced green onion tops for garnish
1/2 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon hot water
3 tablespoons each: soy sauce,
packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon rice vinegar
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
Makes 1 1/2 cups.
Heat oven to 475 degrees. Prick eggplant with a fork; place in a baking dish. Bake, turning once, until the eggplant gives easily when pressed with a spoon, 20-40 minutes, depending on size; cool. Cut off eggplant's stem end; cut eggplant in half lengthwise. Peel; drain off any liquid. Cut eggplant into large chunks; puree in food processor or blender. Set aside.
Combine the garlic, ginger, minced green onions and red pepper flakes in a small bowl; set aside. Combine the soy, sugar, water and vinegar in a medium bowl, stirring to dissolve the sugar.
Heat a wok or large skillet over high heat; add the vegetable oil, swirling to glaze pan. Lower heat to medium. Add the garlic mixture; stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the soy-sugar mixture; heat, stirring, to a boil around the edges. Stir in the eggplant; heat through. Adjust for seasoning if desired. Stir in the sesame oil.
Spoon eggplant mixture into a serving bowl. Cool; cover tightly. Refrigerate 2 hours or overnight. Sprinkle sliced green onion rings on top.
Nutritional information per serving: 25 calories, 46 percent of calories from fat, 1 g fat, no saturated fat, no cholesterol, 3 g carbohydrates, no protein, 165 mg sodium, 1 g fiber.