Aubergine with chilli sauce

Gary Rhodes' vegetarian dish uses flavours traditionally used when cooking fish which is why it's often known as fish-flavoured aubergine
By Gary Rhodes
Aubergine with chilli sauce
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 2-3
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Effort: medium

Ingredients

  • 800 g aubergines
  • vegetable oil, for deep-frying
  • 2 tsp pickled red chilli paste, (see cooks note)
  • 1 tsp grated ginger
  • 1 tsp crushed garlic
  • 2 spring onions, chopped
  • 1 tbsp shaoxing rice wine or dry sherry
  • 200 ml vegetable or chicken stock
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp vinegar
  • 5 tsp sugar, or to taste
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp chicken bouillon powder, optional
  • 3 tsp cornflour
  • ½ tsp chilli oil, or to taste

Tips and Suggestions

make pickled red chilli paste by soaking whole fresh chillies in salted water for 1 month. Drain from the liquid and blitz in a food processor with vegetable oil.

Image: jeancazals.net

Method

1. Remove the skin from the aubergines and cut the flesh into even chunks about 5cm x 1.5cm x 1.5cm.

2. Heat the oil in a large pan or wok and deep-fry the aubergine until soft and golden. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on absorbent paper. Leave on one side.

3. Drain and discard all but 1 tablespoon of oil from the pan. Add the chilli paste, ginger, garlic and 1 tablespoon of the chopped spring onion - stir-fry for 30 seconds.

4. Pour in the wine and stock, bring to the boil and reduce for 2-3 minutes. Return the aubergine to the sauce.

5. Season with soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, salt and chicken bouillon powder - cook for a couple of minutes. Taste for sweetness - you might like to add an extra spoonful of sugar. The sauce should be sweet and tangy.

6. Dissolve the cornflour in 2 tablespoons of water and add to the sauce. Stir until thickened over a moderate heat. Season with chilli oil.

7. Serve garnished with remaining chopped spring onion.

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