Fish Fragrant Aubergine
A fragrant dish with a fish alternative for vegan lovers everywhere.
Don’t let the name fool you – it’s vegan! This one uses a Szechuan-style sauce called fish fragrant (yu xiang). Supposedly, this seasoning was originally intended to be used with fish, but people found it suited lots of other things just as much.
- 2 aubergines
- pinch of salt to season
- 2 tbsps sunflower oil with 1 tsp of sesame oil mixed in
- 3 garlic cloves, crushed
- 2 red chillies, finely chopped (1 if you like it less hot, more if you like it hot)
- 1 tbsp grated ginger
- 6 spring onions, finely sliced
- 125ml vegetable stock
- 75ml rice wine or dry sherry
- 50ml rice wine vinegar
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- 2 tsp kuzu starch or cornflour, dissolved in about 1 tbsp of water
- 25ml tamari sauce (gluten-free soy sauce)
- chopped coriander
Prepare the aubergines
- Preheat the oven to 200C.
- Cut the aubergines into quarters horizontally, and cut each quarter into 6, giving you roughly thumb-sized pieces. Salt and drain them (in a colander with a plate and a couple of heavy things like bean cans on top) for about 20 minutes to get rid of the bitter juices.
- Place the drained aubergines on a baking tray. Coat in about half the oil and bake for 30 minutes until golden, making sure they don’t burn.
Make the sauce
- Fry the garlic, chilli and ginger in a wok on a medium heat using the remaining oil. Add two-thirds of the sliced spring onions and fry for another minute, then add the stock, rice wine, vinegar, sugar and kuzu. Bring to the boil, stirring, and allow to thicken. Add the tamari and simmer for a few minutes, then taste and add a little more if needed.
- When the aubergines are ready, stir them into the sauce. You can reheat them gently if they’ve gone a bit tepid while you’re making the sauce.
- Serve sprinkled with the chopped coriander, the remaining spring onions, peanuts and sesame seeds.