Vegan Chinese eggplant with spicy garlic sauce

I have this favorite Asian restaurant in Tartu, one of my favorite cities (and I'm not even a fan of the cities). But Tartu is great and I have many great memories there. Since my grandparents lived near Tartu, me and my family often visited them and we also stopped in the city to grab some delicious stuff to bring with us. And when I was a teenager, Tartu was my number one city to hang with the metal music scene and to go to concerts. Right now, I mostly visit my friends there or eat some delicious food. Until now, there wasn't many great places for vegans. But it has changed. There's Aparaat, my huge favorite and there's Hot Pot, that Asian restaurant I mentioned.

Vegan Chinese eggplant with spicy garlic sauce

Preparation
  1. 6 cups / 600 g large eggplant chunks
  2. 2-3 Tbsp oil
  3. 6-7 large garlic cloves
  4. 2 heaping Tbsp finely chopped ginger
  5. 1-2 Tbsp dried chili flakes (use less at first if you don't want it to be so spicy, the spiciness also depends on the brand)
  6. ½ cup / 100 g cashews
  7. 2 ½ cups / 150 g sliced broccoli florets
  8. 2 cups / 150 sliced white mushrooms
  9. ½ tsp salt
  10. 1 cup / 240 ml hot water
  11. 2 slightly heaping Tbsp corn starch
  12. 2 cups / 480 ml cold water
  13. 6 Tbsp soy sauce or tamari
  14. ½ Tbsp white wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar

Directions:
  • Steam the eggplant chunks for about 15 minutes. I used a regular metal colander and a wide pot (see the photo above). Just pour some hot water in the bottom of the pot, add the colander (so it barely touches the water) and the eggplant chunks, cover with a lid and let it steam on a medium heat. Check it a couple of times and add more water if needed. The eggplant should shrink a lot.
  • Heat up a pan and pour some oil in it. Add finely chopped garlic cloves and chopped ginger. Cook for a minute. Add chili flakes and cashews. Cook for a minute or two. Add sliced broccoli florets, sliced white mushrooms and salt. Stir and cook for a minute. Add hot water and let it simmer until the eggplant has been steamed.