spicy Sichuan aubergine

I love aubergines and I thought I tried it in every way possible, but this was a revelation. It was warm, spicy, tasty, yummi, rich, just perfect!


Just like a lot of Chinese cuisine, it is not complicated to prepare but because it all has to be cooked quickly, and together, this complete menu will give you a great 30minute workout in the kitchen, which is good because you'll enjoy the food that much more. And the very first mouthful of this will make it all worthwile :)


1 large aubergine
groundnut (peanut) oil
2 garlic cloves
2.5 cm piece of fresh root ginger
1 medium red chilli
2 tbsp chilli bean sauce
200 ml vegetable stock
1 tbsp light soy sauce
1 tbsp Chinkiang black rice vinegar (or balsamic vinegar)
2 pinches of brown sugar
1 tbsp cornflour blended with 2 tbsp cold water

for garnish
1 spring onion

Cut the aubergine into 2 cm wide and 4 cm long chunky batons.
Heat up the oil in a wok or non-stick saucepan, and when it starts to smoke, fry the aubergine for a few minutes, until it becomes golden (make sure you don't fry it too long and make it crunchy, it still needs to be soft inside). Remove the aubergine sticks and drain them on absorbent kitchen paper.
When done frying, discard all oil apart from 1 tablespoon. Heat up the wok again and add finely sliced garlic, chilli and grated ginger. Stir fry for a few seconds and then add chilli bean sauce and aubergine. Stir gently and add warm vegetable stock. Stir and allow to boil, and the reduce the heat to medium.
Simmer the stir-fry for 3 minutes, until the aubergine becomes soft and creamy, Add soy sauce, vinegar and brown sugar, mix and then a add cornflour and water.
Stir until the sauce thickens up and becomes glossy (a minute or so).
Garnish with finely chopped spring onion and serve with Egg-Fried Rice (recipe follows).

Bon appétit!

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