CSA Week 9 - Honey Sesame Eggplant

My favorite dish at my local Chinese restaurant is honey sesame chicken.  They nail it every time, and it's just my favorite thing to order, hands down.  When I saw this recipe by I Am A Food Blog show up, I saw how similar it was to my favorite order, but this time used eggplant.  I pinned it, then went on my merry way.  I don't really buy eggplant, so I kind of forgot about the recipe.  And then my CSA went a little eggplant crazy, and I was searching my boards for already pinned eggplant recipes.  This one, and only one other.  I have since made both, and they're both excellent, but this one is just so similar to my beloved honey sesame chicken than I had to share this one first.
There's some frying involved, but I used my amazing dutch oven to keep me protected from the hot oil, and it makes things really quite easy.  (PS- while I absolutely love my dutch oven, here's a great cheaper option too!)
Eggplant.  Sliced.
And fried in batches.  I didn't salt mine first to get rid of extra moisture, but you can if you'd like!
Sauce added, sesame seeds sprinkled, green onions thrown on top.  This dish is so good, Stephanie Le is just amazing.  I hope you're reading her blog already!
I've actually made this recipe twice already, and that's saying something since it involves frying and that is not something I go out of my way to do.
 Honey Sesame Eggplant (from I Am A Food Blog)

Ingredients:
1 large eggplant, or two smaller, cut into 1" sticks
Canola, peanut, or grapeseed oil for frying (enough to be 1 inches deep in your frying vessel)
3 cloves of garlic, minced
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
Sesame seeds, for garnish 
Sliced green onions, for garnish
Sticky white rice, to serve

In a deep-sided skillet, heat up 1 inch of oil over medium to medium-high until it reaches 360°F. Fry eggplant in small batches, flipping if needed, until lightly golden brown, about two minutes per side. Remove from the oil and drain on a cooling rack over paper towels.

Meanwhile, in a small sauce pan, heat up a tiny bit of oil and cook the garlic on medium heat until slightly golden, but not browned, 1-2 minutes.  Add the honey, soy sauce and ground pepper.  Turn the heat up to medium-high so the honey-soy mixture bubbles and thickens like caramel.

Toss the eggplant with the sauce and garnish with sesame seeds and green onions. Serve immediately with rice or as desired.
Enjoy!

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