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One of the most amazing–and miserable–jobs I ever had was anchoring ABC’S overnight newscast,  World News Now…a show with a core audience of of insomniacs, convicts and breast feeding mothers–in that order.

The amazing part was that as the original anchors of the program, Aaron Brown and I, along with our brilliant producer and staff of writers, editors, directors and crew…pretty much made it all up as we went along.  (How else could a newscast end up having its own polka?)

The miserable bit was that we went to work at 10 pm, broadcast from 2 to 6 am, and had to hang around until 9 am in case the news had to be updated for the west coast.

Needless to say, we needed some serious fuel to work those miserable hours. And given the sad and pathetic offerings of the overnight caterers, we wound up eating a pretty dedicated diet of take-out Chinese.

Luckily, and regrettably, the fabulous Shun Lee was just a block away.

Aaron was a big fan of General Tso’s Chicken. And to this day, instead of recalling him on the scenes of the many important stories he’s covered in his career, I still picture him at our shared overnight news desk..hiding a little tin of take-out under his scripts.

Personally, I was addicted to the eggplant in garlic sauce. And since the Shun Lee dish involved frying the eggplant not once, but twice, I was soon more than grateful for the anchor desk that could hide my increasingly eggplant shaped body!

Now, I’ve taken the recipe for Eggplant with Garlic Sauce from the Shun Lee Cookbook and do a skinny version.  By roasting instead of frying and using chicken broth to stand in for the oil, it’s not only much less fattening, it’s also much easier to make!!!

Although this recipe works especially well with eggplant–because its slime factor mimics the mouth feel of oil–if you live in an eggplant free zone, try this garlic sauce on other veg like broccoli, bok choy, shiitake mushrooms or Chinese long beans.


2-3 pounds Chinese or Japanese eggplants (or small globe eggplants)

2 T soy sauce

3 T white balsamic vinegar

3 T rice wine vinegar

1 T Mirin

1 T black bean garlic paste

1 T fresh minced garlic

1 T fresh minced ginger

2 t sesame oil

1 t Sriracha hot chili sauce (optional)

1/2 c chicken broth

1/2 t black pepper

Preheat oven to 425.

Cut the eggplant into lengthwise quarters and then cut into 2 inch chunks.  Put in a colander and sprinkle with salt. Let drain in the sink for 30 minutes.

Mix all the other ingredients in an oven safe baking dish.

Rinse the salt from the eggplant and add to the baking dish, tossing with your hands to make sure the sauce coats each piece.

Cover tightly with foil and bake 30 minutes.

Stir well, re-cover and bake another 20 minutes.

Stir again and put it back in the oven, uncovered, for another 10 minutes.


Serve over Magic Rice or Pork and Shrimp Magic Fried Rice…

Or alongside any Chinese entree like Crispy Cantonese Trout or Shanghai Girls Shiitake Chicken.

Even better the next day.





About Lisa McRee

After 25 years as a local and network anchor, Lisa was just another American mother struggling, and failing, to lose weight. Finally, she cracked the code, and lost 30 pounds, quickly and for good, by doing what she loves: reporting, cooking and eating! The Skinny is the inside story on how she did it, and how you can, too!
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