Eggplant is yin. Cooking it with yang ingredients like chili-garlic paste, pork, and fresh ginger balances the dish.
1 pound Japanese (or small) eggplant, halved and cut diagonally into 1/2-inch-thick slices
1/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon mirin (sweet rice wine)
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons chili-garlic paste
1 1/2 teaspoons vegetable oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh ginger
1/4 cup lean ground pork
1/4 teaspoon salt
How to Make It
Arrange eggplant in a vegetable steamer. Steam, covered, 5 minutes, or until eggplant is tender; set aside.
Whisk broth and next 5 ingredients (through paste) in a bowl.
Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Add garlic and ginger; stir-fry 30 seconds. Add pork; stir-fry 2 minutes, or until pork loses its pink color. Add eggplant and salt; stir in the broth mixture. Cover; reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes.