Szechuan Eggplant

Serves 4
Time 30 minutes

Ingredients

6 Japanese eggplant, thickly sliced
2 cups extra virgin olive oil (enough for deep frying)
10 dried chillies, whole
1 tbsp chilli flakes
1 tbsp Szechuan peppercorns
1 brown onion, thinly sliced
2 long red chillies, split lengthways but still intact
2 long green chillies, split lengthways but still intact
4 small lap cheong (Chinese sausage), sliced
Salt to taste
3cm knob ginger, grated
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp white vinegar
½ tsp sesame oil
2 tbsp cornflour mixed with 2 tbsp warm water to make a slurry
5 spring onions, chopped
2 tbsp coriander, chopped

Method

In a deep saucepan, heat the oil to 180°C. Carefully lower the eggplant pieces into the oil and deep fry for about 5-8 minutes.

 

In a separate large frypan over medium heat, add 2 tbsp of the frying oil and the dried chillies, chilli flakes, Szechuan peppercorns and onion. Cook them gently in the oil for 2-3 minutes.

 

Add the long green and red chillies to the deep frying oil and fry them with the eggplant.

 

Add the lap cheong and salt to the frypan with the chillies and onion and toss to combine. Simmer for a few more minutes until softened.

 

Using a sieve or slotted spoon, remove the eggplant and chillies from the oil and drain on paper towel. Add to the frypan along with the garlic and ginger and toss together. Add the soy sauce, vinegar, sesame oil and some of the cornflour slurry to thicken it up (you may not need to use it all). Stir to combine.

 

Add the chopped spring onion and coriander and remove from the heat. Serve immediately.