Ca Tim Xao Thit Bam (Eggplant Stir-Fried with Ground Pork)

I never really gave Eggplant much thought when it came to being packed full of vitamins and minerals since for the most part, it’s kind of spongy.  However, thanks to this new blogging project, I’ve done some research and found out it’s not only a great source of fiber, but it also has antioxidants and Vitamins A, B & C.  Research also says that eggplant prevents cells from mutating into cancer and lowers cholesterol!

I’ve made this recipe with both the larger American eggplants and the thinner Chinese eggplants …both equally great.  I was never really a huge fan of eggplant, but this recipe made me a believer.  I love it even more now that I know eggplant is so great for you.  I have a variation of this recipe I will post later, that is a “steamed” recipe versus a stir-fry.  Stay tuned!

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 big American eggplants or 4 thin Chinese eggplants
  • 1 lb of lean ground pork
  • Fresh basil leaves (at least 12-20 leaves but the more, the better)
  • Nuoc Mam (Fish Sauce)
  • Sugar
  • Garlic; I like a lot of garlic but 5-6 cloves will do
  • Green onions (optional)
  • Olive Oil
  • Large/deep pan or wok with lid
  • Salt & Pepper
  • ¼ cup water

 

PREPARATION:

  1. Cut the eggplant into pieces (at least 1/2 inch rounds or triangles so they don’t get too mushy later) – set aside
  2. Mince garlic – set aside
  3. Mince green onion – set aside (You can use as little or as much that you want)
  4. Prepare basil leaves (pluck leaves from stems)

READY TO COOK:

  1. Turn the heat on medium high and coat the bottom of the pan with olive oil
  2. Once the pan is hot, add ½ of the garlic and ½ green onions  (you will use the rest later)
  3. Begin to brown the ground pork until it’s cooked.
  4. Season with sprinkles of salt and pepper.  Literally just add a few sprinkles.  You can taste and add more later.
  5. Pour the pork into a separate bowl and set aside.
  6. Using the same pan, turn the heat back on medium high and coat the bottom of the pan with olive oil
  7. Once the pan is hot hot, add remaining ½ of the garlic and ½ green onions
  8. Add the eggplant pieces and mix with the garlic & green onions.
  9. Add ¼ cup water and put the lid on top of the pan.  Steam until you see the eggplant start to soften.
  10. Open the lid and pour in the Fish Sauce.  I usually pour enough to slightly cover the surface of eggplant.  So about 3-4 tablespoons.
  11. Add 3 tablespoons of sugar to the eggplant.  Use the spatula to mix up the ingredients and put the lid back on for about 2 min so the eggplant can soak in the flavor.
  12. Add in the pork mixture to the pan and mix it all up
  13. Now comes the creative part, season to taste!  Add more sugar for sweetness or fish sauce (saltiness) as needed but be careful, the eggplant will be VERY hot!

Serve with steamed brown/white rice. Enjoy!

 

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