I really love Chinese takeout, but not the terrible, greasy feeling I always get after I finish my meal. My takeout indulgences are limited to those times I'm seriously too tired to cook or when I don't care what that stuff is going to do to my body. So like my moo-shu inspired chicken dish, this garlic chicken and eggplant dish above came out of a desire to eat junk without feeling like junk afterward.
I don't have an exact recipe, because I went with the time-honored method of "a little bit of this, a little bit of that." What I can tell you is that Chinese restaurants use a ton of oil in making "eggplant and garlic sauce," so I tried to minimize how much oil went into cooking the eggplant (the slim Japanese variety) by using a nonstick pan and tossing the eggplant pieces in just a tablespoon of oil or so before letting them slowly soften in the hot pan. I used pieces of chicken breast, too, marinated in soy sauce and a dash of sesame oil and tossed with a bit of cornstarch to keep them tender. Once both the chicken and the eggplant were near done, I poured on a mixture of chopped garlic, chopped scallions, soy sauce, sesame oil, oyster sauce, and chili-garlic paste and let that cook in. After a few minutes, when the sauce seemed a little thin, I mixed a bit of cornstarch in water and poured that in the pan to thicken it. A few more minutes on the burner, and my homemade takeout dish was ready to go.