1/2 cooking onion (purple onions work well for this recipe)
6 cloves garlic, minced
1-3 red chillies (including seeds), depending on how spicy you like it
1 Chinese (large, with dark purple skin) eggplant, or 2 (thinner, with light purple skin) Japanese eggplants
1/4 cup water for stir-frying
2-3 Tbsp. oil for stir-frying
roughly 1/2 cup (or more) fresh basil
2 Tbsp. soy sauce
1 Tbsp. fish sauce OR 1+1/2 Tbsp. soy sauce
2 Tbsp. oyster sauce OR vegetarian oyster sauce, OR Vegetarian Stir-Fry Sauce (Lee Kum Kee brand)
1 tsp. brown sugar
1 tsp. cornstarch mixed with 2 Tbsp. water (mix until cornstarch is dissolved)
1. First, prepare sauce by mixing together all sauce ingredients except cornstarch. Prepare the cornstarch and water mixture in a separate cup or bowl. Set both aside.
2. Chop the eggplant up into bite-size pieces (be sure to leave the peel on - this is where most of the nutrients are).
3. Place 2-3 Tbsp. oil to a wok or large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the onion, half of the garlic, chilli, and eggplant. Reserve the rest of the garlic for later.
4. Stir-fry for 5 minutes. When the wok or frying pan becomes dry, add a little of the water (a few Tbsp. at a time) - enough to keep the ingredients frying nicely.
5. Add 2 Tbsp. soy sauce and continue stir-frying for 5 more minutes, or until the eggplant is soft and the white flesh is almost translucent. Add a little more water when the pan becomes too dry (up to 1/4 cup).
6. When the eggplant is soft, add the rest of the garlic plus the sauce. Stir fry to incorporate.
7. Lastly, add the cornstarch/water mixture. Stir well so that the sauce thickens uniformly (this will only take a minute or less). Remove from heat.
8. Taste test the eggplant for salt. If not salty enough, add a little more fish sauce. If too salty, add 1 Tbsp. lime juice (or substitute 1 Tbsp. lemon juice).
9. Now add 3/4 of the fresh basil, stirring briefly to incorporate.
10. Slide onto a serving platter and sprinkle the rest of the basil over top. Serve with jasmine rice. Enjoy!