12 oz slender Asian eggplant (substitute: common pear-shaped eggplant)
2/3 cup water
1/4 cup Chinese rice wine shaoxing (substitute: dry sherry)
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp Chinese black vinegar (substitute: balsamic vinegar)
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
3 tbsp vegetable oil
8 ounces ground pork
2 tbsp minced garlic
2 small dried hot red chilies
1/4 cup chopped cilantro (substitute: green onion)
1. Trim off the stem ends of the eggplant. Cut the eggplant crosswise into 2-inch long pieces, then cut lengthwise into wedges. If using common eggplant, cut into ~1/2-inch cubes.
2. In a small bowl, mix the water, rice wine, black vinegar, soy sauce sugar, and black pepper. Place aside.
3. Place a 14-inch wok or 12-inch frying pan over high heat. When the pan is hot even coat the pan with 1 tbsp of oil and add the pork and garlic. Brown the pork for 3 - 5 minutes
4. Reduce the heat to medium-high and add the chilies (break in half, if you like it spicier), eggplant, and 2 tablespoons of oil. Stir-fry until eggplant begins to brown, 2 to 3 minutes.
5. Add the water mixture liquid and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and cook for 7-9 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the eggplant is soft when pressed. Transfer to a serving dish and top with cilantro.