A dim sum favorite!
This is a popular dish at dim sum, the Chinese version of brunch. Eggplant can suck up oil like a sponge and make a dish overly greasy, but my mom's recipe uses a Chinese cooking technique to help counter that: the eggplant is quickly browned on high heat for color and flavor, and then steamed the rest of the way to avoid absorbing more oil. Her addition of mirin adds complexity to the dish. Use only the long, slender eggplant known as Japanese eggplant or Chinese eggplant.
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Chill the shrimp in the freezer for a few minutes in a bowl with 1 teaspoon each of salt, sugar, and water. This lends a fresh and crisp texture to the shrimp.
Drain the shrimp. Using a cleaver or other knife, whack each piece of shrimp so it is flattened; this will help with binding the mixture together later. Then chop the shrimp into a mince, and add ½ tsp pepper,¼ tsp salt, and ½ tsp cornstarch to combine. Set aside.
Return all the eggplant slices to the pan, add ½ cup water, and cover. Steam for 7 to 10 minutes, until the eggplant is soft and easily pierced with a knife, and the shrimp is pink and cooked through. Do not overcook, or the shrimp will toughen and the eggplant will fall apart. The unstuffed end pieces may take longer to cook.
In a small bowl, combine the oyster sauce, mirin, the other ½ tsp of cornstarch, and 2 tbs water, then add to the pan and stir. Cook for 2 minutes, until sauce thickens. Move the eggplant and sauce to a plate. Add the garlic and chopped scallion and cook for a minute, then sprinkle over top of the dish.