We’re celebrating the Chinese New Year this month and this is a Chinese dish which brings me particularly happy memories.
I met my daughter in Shanghai prior to a momentous backpacking journey all around China and Tibet. The day before we set out we had lunch with some of my daughter’s colleagues – I noticed two of them were eating this aubergine mixture and I thought I’d try it.
I was delighted I did – it tastes great and unlike a lot of aubergine dishes it doesn’t take long.
It goes well with all sorts of things – white fish, chicken breasts…I think it would go well with a few toasted pecans and some raisins too.
- 2 aubergines – Japanese ideally because these have no bitterness – halved lengthways and then cut into 1cm/½” semi-circles
- 2 tbsp rapeseed oil
- 120ml/½ cup water
- 1chicken stock cube
- 4 cloves of garlic, crushed with smoked salt
- ½ tsp Sichuan flower pepper – crushed in a mortar and pestle
- 3 tsp maple syrup
- 2 tbsp rich, dark soy sauce
- 2 tbsp oyster sauce
- 1 tsp cornflour
- Heat the oil, and cook the aubergines, the pepper and the garlic for five minutes or so until beginning to go soft – don’t let the garlic burn
- Boil the water in a kettle, measure out and dissolve the stock cube in it
- Mix the syrup, cornflour and sauces until the cornflour has dissolved
- Add the stock to the aubergines, cover with foil and simmer for about ten minutes until the water is absorbed
- Stir the sauce in, and cook until it has thickened – two or three minutes