Braised Eggplant With Mushrooms

  • 3 tablespoons peanut or neutral oil, like corn or canola
  • 1 1/2 pounds eggplant, preferably the long, thin kind, trimmed and cut into 1-inch segments 1 large onion, cut in two and sliced
  • 2 or 3 dried chilies, optional
  • 2 large oyster or bai-ling mushrooms, or several small oyster mushrooms, or 1 portobello, in 1/2-inch chunks
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • Chopped cilantro for garnish, optional.

1. Put oil in a large skillet, preferably nonstick, and place over medium-high heat. A minute later add eggplant, and stir once or twice until it sizzles. Add onion, chilies, mushrooms, salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onion softens and eggplant and mushrooms brown nicely, 10 to 15 minutes. Adjust heat so mixture browns without burning.

2. Add sugar and 1/4 cup water, and cook, stirring once in a while, until mixture is dry again. Eggplant should be very soft and quite brown.

3. Turn off heat, and stir in soy sauce; taste, and adjust seasoning. Garnish and serve.