Ok, I cheated. I bought a sauce packet from Super H. I'd like to curtail the use of high sodium products in our meals, but let's face it, when I leave work at 7 pm and arrive home after 8 pm, I need all the shortcuts I can employ to have dinner on the table before 9:30 pm. Dietitians would be shaking their heads in disdain that we eat dinner after 8 pm, but working late is a reality for us.
While this was the "hot" variety, it was really fairly mild and required the addition of a liberal amount of red pepper flakes.
Grilled jalapenos, grilled Chinese eggplant, mabo-dofu on rice.
The Chinese and Japanese eggplants are long and slender, with a thinner skin, more delicate flavor and less bitter than the American varietal. While you can add minced pork or beef to the mapo sauce, I liked this without any meat and paired with the eggplant it was a satisfying meat-free dinner.