Asian Dressed Aubergine

by Jacqueline on August 10, 2012

A delicious way of eating aubergine
Asian Dressed Aubergine

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 best way to prepare Aubergines is to grill them

Grilled Aubergine

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:

Ingredients for Asian Dressed Aubergine

Ingredients for Asian Dressed Aubergine

Asian Dressed Aubergine

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Serving Size: Serves 2 for Side Order

This is a great way to enjoy aubergine. The dressing enhances the flavour of the vegetable and will be a winner if you are a fan of Asian cuisine.

Ingredients

  • 2 medium size aubergines, sliced vertically in halves
  • the juice of one lemon
  • 4 tbsp of soy sauce
  • 3 tbsp of sweet chilli sauce
  • 2 tbsp of sesame oil
  • 3 tsp of white sugar
  • a generous bunch of mint
  • a generous bunch of coriander
  • a generous bunch of sweet basil
  • bird's eye chili *2 , sliced

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat the grill.
  2. Place the soy sauce, sesame oil, lemon juice, sugar and sweet chilli sauce in a bowl and mix together.
  3. Use a basting or pastry brush to coat the aubergine on the flesh side with the mixture.
  4. Place the aubergine in the grill, flesh side up and cook for approximately 15-20 minutes or until a blackened look is achieved. The vegetable should be quite soft to touch but firm enough to retain shape when cut into chunks.
  5. While grilling the aubergine,prepare the herbs by coarsely chopping the leaves and stalks of the basil and coriander and the leaves of the mint. Add about 2 thirds of the herbs to the mixture in the bowl and toss.
  6. Cut off the stalks from the aubergine and slice the vegetable into reasonable size chunks while still warm.
  7. Add the sliced aubergine to the mixture and toss.
  8. Garnish with the remaining herbs and sliced chilli.

Notes

I've added extra chilli to this recipe as I love spicy food but if you prefer, you can omit the fresh chilli and rely on the mild heat from the sweet chilli sauce.

http://howtobeagourmand.com/asian-dressed-aubergine/

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

Herbs on Saturday

What is your favourite way of preparing aubergine? Do let me know in the comments below!

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{ 21 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Camilla August 10, 2012 at 5:21 pm

I love aubergines but just can’t pronounce them (I seem to say it with a “v” instead of a “b”) much to the annoyance of my husband! As they are like blotting paper I’m sure that this dish is delicious and I bet it even tastes good cold the next day:-)

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2 Jacqueline August 10, 2012 at 5:28 pm

Thanks Camilla. You are so right! It is just as nice served cold. The pronunciation point is curious – interestingly enough when I was learning Spanish I was told that they found it difficult to pronounce the v and used b instead – the very opposite from you. As a Scot, I am very aware of the way I pronounce/accentuate the R in my words but – hey, it’s part of who I am :-)

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3 Mich - Piece of Cake August 10, 2012 at 5:27 pm

This totally makes my mouth water. I do love brinjal and I usually eat it steamed with loads of belacan chilli, but this method sounds like a great one to try out.

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4 Jacqueline August 10, 2012 at 6:09 pm

Oh, thank you Michelle! I imagine a nice hot chilli sauce with really enhance the flavour of steamed aubergine/brinjal/eggplant. I’ve never tried belacan chilli but it looks like it is just the thing that is right up my street!

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5 rita cooks italian August 11, 2012 at 1:09 am

I’m a fan of Asian cuisine and this is a very inspiring way to dress grilled aubergines. I love chilli too, I prefer fresh chilli, but it’s perfect to combine it with the sweet chilli sauce (pretty hot!!!??). I don’t have a steamer, so grilling the aubergines in the oven, like you did, is my only option. My favourite way to eat Aubergine is…Parmigiana (of course…!). Ciao

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6 Jacqueline August 11, 2012 at 12:29 pm

Hi Rita, I prefer fresh chilli too – I use bird’s eye chilli in this recipe which is relatively hot compared to the chilli used in sweet chilli sauce.
Your recipe for Aubergine Parmigiana is lovely :-)

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7 Chris August 11, 2012 at 2:37 am

When I think about, very often I do baba ghanoush when I get some aubergines, but I like moussaka as well!
Your Asian style sounds pretty lovely, too.

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8 Jacqueline August 11, 2012 at 12:38 pm

Hi Chris, thanks for your comment. I’ve never made baba ghanoush but I love the taste :-) If you try this recipe, let me know what you think!

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9 Chris August 16, 2012 at 12:56 am

I’m just trying the recipe! It could work! Need some Asian flavours now! I hope the two extra chillies won’t kill me …

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10 Chris August 16, 2012 at 1:22 am

… it didn’t exactly kill me, but it was quite hot! Those windowsill chillies turned out to be hotter than I thought.
Well then, even without having coriander it tasted delish!!!

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11 Jacqueline August 16, 2012 at 2:08 am

I do like spicy food so extra chillies aren’t for everyone – glad you enjoyed it nevertheless :-)
Thanks for letting me know Chris :-)

12 Karen August 11, 2012 at 5:18 am

As ever, a SUPERB entry again for Herbs on Saturday and such a lovely recipe too…..I adore aubergines and Love the smoky flavour they impart when roasted too. I ALSO like your herb combination too…basil, coriander and mint – am Asian trinity maybe! Thanks, Karen

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13 Jacqueline August 11, 2012 at 12:40 pm

Hee -hee an Asian Trinity indeed Karen! It’s a good challenge to participate in as I very often use herbs in cooking. Thanks for taking the time to comment!

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14 All That I'm Eating August 13, 2012 at 1:54 am

Steamed aubergine indeed! I love them grilled so it’s maybe a good thing it didn’t work! It sounds like a lovely meal.

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15 Jacqueline August 13, 2012 at 5:36 pm

My thinking exactly Caroline! Thanks for stopping by :-)

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16 rita cooks italian August 13, 2012 at 2:42 pm

Inspired by your post about Asian dressed aubergine, I prepared a delicious Asian meal last night. As a side dish I made aubergines dressed as you suggested: DELICIOUS. thank you.

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17 Jacqueline August 13, 2012 at 5:36 pm

Wonderful Rita! Glad it worked out well for you :-)

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18 petra08 August 14, 2012 at 5:37 pm

hi

It sounds absolutely gorgeous! I will try and team aubergines, haven’t even thought about it and like you tend to grill them but love the sound of the way you added Asian flavors!

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19 Jacqueline August 14, 2012 at 10:06 pm

Thanks Petra – this dish really is tasty – works well with grilled aubergine :-) Thanks for stopping by!

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20 Monet August 16, 2012 at 6:02 am

Hello friend. Well, I’ve never heard of this before, but after you described it (and all those lovely pictures of those charred eggplants) I want to make it! Thank you for inspiring me with a recipe both new and flavorful!

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21 Jacqueline August 16, 2012 at 3:46 pm

It really is worth making Monet – especially now that aubergines are in season. Thanks for your lovely comment :-)

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