Yuxiang Qiezi

Fish-Flavoured Aubergines with Pork

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Photo: ckbk instagram

Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Easy

  • Serves

    4

    as Part of a Chinese Meal, or 2 as a Single Dish.

Appears in

This dish does not taste “fishy,” but it does use the spices and seasonings usually employed when preparing fish: hot, sour, salty, and sweet at the same time. It sounds (and tastes) very Sichuan and indeed it is. This delightful version is from the Shu Feng Yuan restaurant/collective in Chengdu, Sichuan. Unlike other versions I have eaten in Europe, North America, and Hong Kong, this one used whole aubergines. The smaller variously coloured varieties used in China are generally the tastiest.

Ingredients

  • 700 g/ lb Chinese or regular aubergines
  • 450 ml/16 fl oz peanut oil
  • 450 g/1 lb minced pork
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped garlic
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped ginger root
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped spring onions
  • 2 tablespoons dark soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons rice wine or dry sherry
  • 3 tablespoons Chinese black rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Sichuan peppercorns, roasted and crushed
  • 2 teaspoons ground red chilli
  • 125 ml/4 fl oz chicken stock

Method

If using ordinary aubergines, cut into quarters lengthways. Heat a wok or large frying pan until hot. Add the oil, and when it is hot, deep-fry the aubergines whole. Remove them with a slotted spoon and drain them on kitchen paper. Arrange them on a serving platter.

Pour off most of the oil, leaving 3 tablespoons, and reheat the wok. Add the pork, garlic, ginger, and spring onions and stir-fry for 30 seconds. Put in the rest of the ingredients, except the stock. Continue to cook for 2 minutes over high heat, then add the stock and simmer for another 3 minutes.

Add the aubergines and simmer in the sauce for 3 minutes and serve at once.

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