3 scallions, roughly chopped
1. In a small bowl, mix together the vegetable stock, sugar, and soy sauce and set it aside. In a second bowl, mix together the chili bean paste, garlic, ginger, and szechuan peppercorns and set it aside. In a third bowl, mix together the potato starch with a tablespoon of water and set it aside. Lastly, in a fourth bowl, mix together the scallions and vinegar and set it aside.
2. In a large non-stick skillet, heat the oil. Add the eggplant cubes in a single layer, without crowding. Fry the eggplant cubes on high heat till they are golden.
3. Add the chili bean paste, garlic, ginger, and szechuan peppercorns and sauté until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the vegetable stock mixture, turn the heat to medium-low and simmer for 90 seconds. Add the potato starch mixture and stir together until the sauce thickens a bit. Add the scallions and vinegar and cook for 15 seconds to diffuse their harsh flavors a bit. Taste the dish and add more chili bean sauce if you like.