I'm getting closer. It's summer time and we often pick up eggplants at Super H Mart. Since we cut back on our meat intake and ramped up the vegetable intake, I've been experimenting with making an authentically spicy Sichuan-style mapo-nasu.
Instead of chucking in whole Sichuan peppercorns into the sauce, this time I ground the peppercorns. I used potato starch to make the sauce thicker. Still not quite there, but getting closer.