Smoky aubergine with coriander and chilli

Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Medium

  • Serves

    4

Appears in

Food and Travels: Asia

Food and Travels

By Alastair Hendy

Published 2004

  • About

Ideally, grill-roast the aubergine whole over charcoal. However, the oven is more convenient, so do roast if you wish. Deep-frying, chargrilling slices or steaming chunks all work beautifully - just stick on that dressing and it’s delicious.

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp groundnut oil
  • 1 dried red chilli, crumbled, or 1 tsp chilli flakes
  • 2 fat cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 4 cm piece fresh root ginger, peeled and grated (keep the juice too)
  • 1 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp caster sugar
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • 2 red chillies, sliced into rings
  • 1 large aubergine or 4 long narrow violet aubergines, trimmed
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • medium bunch of coriander, chopped

Method

Gently heat the groundnut oil with the dried chilli, garlic and ginger without browning. Stir in the soy sauce, fish sauce and about 3 tbsp water and bubble up for a minute. In a separate bowl, mix the vinegar with the sugar, lime juice and sliced fresh chillies and leave on one side.

Roast the aubergines whole in a 190°C/375°F/Gas 5 oven until tender right through - or grill, steam or fry. Timing will depend on the thickness of the aubergines used (pierce with a knife; they should feel velvety soft).

Peel off and discard the aubergine skin, then cut the flesh into chunks and tumble with the reheated chilli ginger sauce, chilli vinegar and sesame oil. Lavish with coriander. Fabulous.