If I said to you, “How about some steamed aubergine?” What would your reaction be? Well, if it is anything like mine it might be unimpressed, uninspired and perhaps you may even think there are better ways to cook or prepare aubergine! Let’s face it the thought of it doesn’t really fill you with images of a mouthwatering feast does it? When I suggested the same to hubbie last week I had already anticipated his reaction and threw in the remark “with some unseasoned potatoes boiled to oblivion”. Oh, I do have an evil streak, don’t I Needless to say he wasn’t jumping for joy!
In fact this recipe came about as a friend had given us a steamer as he was leaving the country and thought we might be able to put it to good use. A kind hearted soul indeed. Well, shock horror, I don’t have a steamer in the UK and even worse, I do not posses a rice steamer in Hong Kong so I’m not overly familiar with how they work. To compound matters, the appliance was lacking an operations manual but I thought it should be fairly straightforward to steam vegetables following the pictures on the box of said appliance.
After doing a bit of digging, I noticed that Jamie Oliver had a nice recipe for Steamed Aubergine and I thought, well, that might just do the trick!
So having washed and cut the aubergine, I was now ready to test my new appliance. I had filled the bottom tray with water, put the aubergine in the tray above, put the timer on for 10 minutes and set to work preparing the dressing as the timer ticked away. After 10 minutes, the bell rang and I was ready to examine the results of my new cooking toy. Unfortunately, I was disappointed to discover that during that time, no steaming had taken place. In fact the water had barely reached a mild temperature and the aubergine was turning a tinge of brown. Ugh!
Knowing that we were having fish with the aubergine and it was due to be ready in a matter of minutes, I opted for my reliable and favourite way of cooking aubergine; grilling. I brushed the cut aubergine with the dressing of soy sauce, sesame oil, sweet chilli sauce and lemon juice and placed them under the grill for approximately 20 minutes. The result was a beautifully blackened flesh on the aubergines:
The next part was easy, just removing the stalk and slicing the flesh of the warm aubergine, mildly crispy on the outside and soft and helpless on the inside. Dressing the vegetable when the aubergine is warm is key as it absorbs and enriches the flavour of the aubergine. The flavour explosion is a mixture of the sourness brought on by the the lemon juice, the smokiness of the blackened aubergine, the heat added by the chilli and the freshness of the herbs. This dish is a perfect accompaniment to steamed or roasted fish.
The recipe has been adapted by the aforementioned Jamie Oliver recipe. Here are the ingredients you will need:
I’m sure the recipe works well with the steamer too, I just need enough patience to try it out again. Perhaps I’ll add in some time for experimentation when I next use it!
I’m entering this recipe into Karen’s Herbs on a Saturday challenge over at Lavender and Lovage
What is your favourite way of preparing aubergine? Do let me know in the comments below!
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