Szechuan Chicken and Eggplant Stir Fry

For Christmas, my sister gave us a pack of Szechuan peppercorns. They got lost in our move back in February, and I happened upon them the other day. So, naturally, I wanted to use them ASAP! This being my first experience with them, I can tell you they are a funky ingredient! Initially, they taste a little like a regular peppercorn (but they aren’t as dense)…and then they give you a little tingling sensation on your tongue that lasts for a few seconds…sort of like pop-rocks for adults. Anyway, in the end, we turned them into a sauce that had a nice mix of spicy, salty, and sweet that complemented the chicken and veggies really well!

We served our stir-fry over cauliflower rice, but it would also go really nicely with noodles or a more traditional rice that is made from…real rice.

Time: 30 Minutes

Ingredients:

  • For the Stiry-Fry
    • Chicken Breast
    • Small-Medium Eggplant. We recommend White or Chinese Eggplant.
    • Onion
    • Bell Pepper
    • Garlic
  • For the Sauce
    • 1/4 Cup Low Sodium Soy Sauce
    • 1 Tablespoon Honey
    • 1 Tablespoon Brown Sugar
    • 1 Tablespoon Rice Vinegar
    • 1 Teaspoon Sriracha (more if you like it hot)
    • Grated Ginger and Garlic (Microplane grater)
    • Szechuan Peppercorns
    • 1 Tablespoon of Corn Starch
    • 2 Tablespoons of warm water

Method:

  • Slice your onions, peppers, and garlic, and cut your eggplant into medium sized chunks. Set all of your veggies aside together. Then, slice your chicken.
  • Heat a large pan (wok!!!) with some sesame, peanut, or vegetable oil, and when it’s hot, carefully add in your chicken and veggies, and stir occasionally as they cook. Sautee for about 10 minutes.
  • While your veggies and chicken cook, turn your attention to your sauce!
    • Combine your soy sauce, rice vinegar, Sriracha, brown sugar, honey, and Szechuan peppercorns into a measuring cup, and then use a microplane grater to grate in some fresh ginger and garlic.
    • Stir to combine.
  • When your chicken is no longer pink, and your eggplant has started to brown and soften, pour in your sauce, and cook for another 5-7 minutes.
  • Mix your corn starch and water in a small bowl, and when the corn starch is fully dissolved, pour it into your stir-fry to thicken your sauce.
  • Stir to fully coat, and allow to cook for another minute or two to thicken.
  • Plate, devour, and enjoy!

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