Sous Vide Eggplant with Sichuan Chile Bean Sauce
Ingredients for 4
1 medium eggplant sliced into 1/2-inch planks
2/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon (172 mL total) water
3/4 teaspoon (3.7 mL) tapioca starch
3 tablespoons (44 mL) vegetable oil
1 1/2 tablespoons (22 mL) Sichuan chile bean paste
1 tablespoon (15 mL) chopped fresh ginger
4 cloves chopped garlic
2 teaspoons (9.8 mL) granulated sugar
1/4 cup (59 mL) thinly sliced scallions
Set the Anova Precision Cooker to 185ºF (85ºC).
Place the eggplant in a single layer in a large zipper lock or vacuum seal bag. Seal the bag using the water immersion technique or a vacuum sealer on the dry setting. Place in the water bath and set the timer for 3 hours. (If using zipper lock bags, you will need to weigh down the eggplant to keep it submerged.)
When the timer goes off, remove the bag from the water bath. Remove the eggplant from the bag and slice into 2-inch pieces. Season with salt.
In a small bowl, whisk together 1 tablespoon water with the tapioca starch. Set aside.
Heat oil in a large skillet over high heat. When the oil is shimmering, add the chile bean paste. Cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the ginger and garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the remaining 2/3 cup water and sugar and bring to a simmer. Add the eggplant and stir to coat. Simmer for 2 minutes.
Re-whisk the tapioca-water mixture and add to the skillet. Continue to cook until thickened, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Remove from the heat and season to taste with salt. Transfer to a serving plate and garnish with scallions. Serve.