The most well-know Chinese aubergine (or eggplant) recipe is probably the sichuan-styled braised aubergine (yu xiang qie zi), but it’s not the only traditional recipe out there. This version with soya bean sauce (Chinese miso) is a common home-cooked dish from the north. The meat is optional, but does help to add a bit of flavouring.
Visually, we are trying to preserve the look of “unbroken”, whole aubergines, so ideally the type of aubergine used should be the thin, long Asian types instead of the . You can also use baby aubergines.
The cooking and prep time is around 15-20 mins, and we are using the microwave with this recipe (I don’t think it affects the taste, and means that it’s easier to preserve the look of the aubergine). This serves 2.
2 narrow aubergines
3 cloves of garlic
3 slices of ginger
1-2 spring onions
1 tbsp of soya bean paste – huang jiang
1 tbsp of fermented soya beans (optional)
1 tsp of soya sauce
1 tsp of Shaoxing rice wine
1 tsp of sesame oil
Pinch of black pepper
Pinch of sugar
Pinch of salt
75-100g of minced pork
Step 1: wash and cut off the stem from the aubergines, then cut a slit into the top. Place it in the microwave for 3 minutes.
Step 2: to make the sauce, chop 2 cloves of garlic and 2 slices of ginger finely, slice the whites of the spring onions and chilli and mix these with the soya bean paste, fermented soya beans, soya sauce, rice wine, sesame oil, pepper, sugar and salt.
Step 3: cut the rest of the ginger and garlic into slices, put a dash of oil in a wok/pan and sizzle these.
Step 4: once it’s sizzling, add the mince and wait for it to cook.
Step 5: in the meantime, remove the aubergines (which should now have cooled a little) and press with a paper towel to remove as much water as possible.
Step 6: drop the aubergines into the wok. Keep pressing and turning for 1-2 minutes, being careful not to break the skin.
Step 7: pour the sauce into the wok/pan and turn onto low heat. Leave to simmer for 8-10 minutes, pressing/turning from time to time.
Step 8: chop the green parts of the spring onion and sprinkle it over the aubergines. Simmer for a further minute, and it’s ready to serve!
The aubergines should be nice and soft inside, and will have absorbed the flavour from the sauce. Keep dipping it into the sauce as you eat them, and let me know what you think!Follow @blenderbasil