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Ssamjang Eggplant & Chicken 'Bokkeum' Stir Fry

All recipe posts are written by our co-founder Jennifer J. Yoo unless otherwise noted. 
This is my take on Chinese eggplants with spicy garlic sauce, a dish I order time to time from my local delivery spot. Ssamjang was kind of perfect for this as it brings the perfect amount of spicy, salty and savory flavor. All I added in addition were some garlic and sesame oil. Eggplant stir fry, when paired with meat, normally comes with pork but I decided to make it with chicken which is my favorite choice for protein. I imagine you can easily make this with tofu and turn it vegetarian. I had it as-is but also love it topped on udon noodles or on rice. 

TIME 15 minutes

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 Chinese/Japanese eggplants, about 1 lbs 
  • 1 lb ground chicken or turkey (beef and pork also works)
  • 3 tablespoons ssamjang
  • 1 tablespoon cheongjang soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoons infrared roasted sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon infrared roasted sesame seeds 
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely ground black pepper 
  • 1 tablespoon mirin*
  • 2 scallions, cut length wise then cut into about 2" slices 
  • 1 red pepper such as Hungarian paprika. If using bell pepper, 1/4 of a pepper is sufficient. Cut into thin slices/strips. 
*Use sake or white wine if you don't have mirin handy 

INSTRUCTIONS

    1. In a mixing bowl, add chicken, 1 teaspoon each of sesame oil and minced garlic, black pepper. Blend it in and set aside. 
    2. Slice eggplants about 2-3" in length, then quarter the pieces. In a heated wok - with no oil - add eggplants and cook for about 5 minutes. This will help release water from the eggplants, thus giving it a soft chewy texture and reducing the risk of the sauce becoming a watery mess. 
    3. In the same wok, add grape seed, corn or vegetable oil (something that can hold up to heat) then throw in the scallions and peppers. Cook for about 2-3 minutes. 
    4. Add the chicken and stir around to cook it evenly. 
    5. While the chicken is cooking, in a small bowl add ssamjang, cheongjang soy sauce, the remaining teaspoon of sesame oil and minced garlic, sesame seeds. 
    6. Once the chicken is about 90% cooked, add the eggplants and then the sauce mixture. Stir around and cook for another 2-3 minutes. Serve as is or on top of a bed of rice. 

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