Spicy garlic eggplant & ground pork noodles.

My mother likes to make a special garlic-infused vinegar for this dish. The instructions are below, but if you don’t manage to infuse it beforehand, the dish will be tasty either way.




  1. Do ahead: If you’d like to use garlic-infused vinegar, just combine 1/4 cup vinegar with 4-5 crushed garlic cloves in a small 4-ounce jar, seal, and let sit. Two weeks is optimal, though you can certainly use it earlier if you like. You’ll only use a few tablespoons in this dish, but the vinegar preserves the garlic and will keep for up to two months, so you’ll have plenty of time to use it (and you can make way more, if you like!)
  2. Combine ground pork, about 2 tbsp of the chopped green onions, 1 tbsp soy sauce, 1 tsp sesame oil, and 1 tsp Shaoxing rice wine in a small bowl and mix until well-combined. Let marinate for 15-30 minutes. Meanwhile, slice eggplant into bite-sized pieces and set aside.
  3. Heat a tablespoon of oil in a large wok over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add the garlic, ginger and remaining green onion. Stirfry for 10 seconds, then add the ground pork and chili garlic sauce.
  4. When pork is fully cooked, add the eggplant and stir for a minute to mix everything together. Add the soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, salt, and both ground peppers, and stirfry for a few minutes more. Add the water. Once it boils, turn down the heat to medium-low, then cover and simmer for about 15 minutes, until the eggplant is fork-tender.
  5. Meanwhile, prepare the noodles according to package instructions. When done, divide evenly between four bowls. When eggplant is ready, divide evenly over noodles and serve immediately.


As written, this is gently spicy — for more heat, add more chili garlic sauce, substitute a spicier red chili paste, or add a generous shake of crushed red chili flakes.