Yang Qiezi

Stuffed Aubergine

Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Easy

  • Serves

    4

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

Appears in

Of the many dishes I enjoyed in Beijing, this was among the most pleasing. Aubergine, of which there are many varieties, was introduced many centuries ago, probably from India. They are best eaten immediately after being picked as they can quickly become quite bitter. The ones that the Qu family served me were in season and at their peak of flavour. Stuffing added substance to the subtle aubergine taste and frying gave them a crusty exterior. Enjoy them straight from the wok, for they tend to soften up if they sit too long, though they remain delicious. The stuffing can be made well ahead of time, but dip the vegetables in the batter only when you are about to fry them.

Ingredients

Batter

  • 4 tablespoons cornflour
  • 2 tablespoons unbleached white all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2 tablespoons beer or water

Filling

  • 125 g/4 oz minced pork
  • 125 g/4 oz medium-sized uncooked prawns, peeled and finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped spring onions
  • 2 tablespoons dark soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine or dry sherry
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon Freshly ground black pepper
  • 450 g/1 lb Chinese aubergines (about 4 medium-sized)
  • 850 ml/ pt peanut oil

Method

In a medium-sized bowl, mix the batter ingredients until smooth and set aside to rest for 5 minutes.

In a medium-sized bowl, combine the pork, prawns, onions, soy sauce, rice wine or sherry, sesame oil, salt, and pepper and mix together thoroughly.

Slice the aubergines into 6-mm/¼-in rounds. (If you are using the larger variety, cut them into rounds, and then quarter them.) With a knife, spread a thin layer of the meat filling on one side of an aubergine slice and place another one on top and press together like a small sandwich. Continue this procedure until you have used all the aubergine rounds.

Heat a wok or large frying pan with the oil. Using cooking tongs and chopsticks, dip the stuffed rounds into the batter and then drop each gently into the hot oil. Be careful of splatters. Place as many rounds into the wok as will fit easily on one layer. Turn them gently and fry them until they are golden brown on both sides and cooked inside, about 4 minutes. Adjust your heat to keep the oil very hot but not enough to burn the rounds. Remove the rounds with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper. Cook and serve the aubergine rounds in several batches so they are always hot and crispy.

Loading
Loading
Loading