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Chinese Eggplant ~ Fried Stuffed ~ Serves 4
Ready in 30-60 minutes

Fried eggplant slices are pretty delicious on their own, but why stop there when you can stuff them?
A scrumptious Asian pork blend flavored with ginger and soy is the perfect filling for golden-fried slices.
Absolutely addictive.

9 inch size eggplant, about 3 inches wide
1/4 pound ground pork, not lean
2 tablespoons finely chopped scallion greens
1 teaspoon minced peeled fresh ginger
1 1/2 tablespoon soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 cups peanut or vegetable oil, or more, for frying
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 large egg, lightly beaten
3/4 cup water

Cut off 1 1/2 inch from bottom of eggplant and discard.
Move knife 1/4 inch from cut side and cut almost but not all the way through eggplant (this is the pocket).
Move knife 1/4 inch from pocket cut and cut slice free from eggplant. Make more slices with pockets in same manner.
Stir together pork, scallion, ginger, soy sauce, and salt in a bowl with a fork. Spread 1 tablespoon filling in each eggplant pocket.
Heat 1/2 inch oil in a 10-inch heavy skillet over moderate heat until it registers 360 degrees F on thermometer.
Meanwhile, whisk together flour, egg, and water in a bowl until batter is smooth.
Dip half of the eggplant slices, 1 at a time, into batter, shaking off excess to leave a thin coating.
Fry, turning over once, until eggplant is tender when pierced with a fork and batter is pale golden, 4 to 5 minutes total.
Transfer to paper towels to drain.
Return oil to 360 degrees F, then coat and fry remaining slices in same manner.
Drain briefly on paper towels and serve immediately.


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