So after making the fish-fragrant pork, I decided to also make another one of Szechuan popular fish-fragrant dish, the fish-fragrant aubergine/eggplants. Again, there is no fish in the dish if you ever wonder. The term fish-fragrant comes from the popular way of the Szechuanese using ingredients that are usually used to cook fish dishes (such as garlic, ginger, scallions, chili, and wine).
I know some people told me that they are not big fans of eggplants. Eggplants on their own do not have much taste of flavor. They pick up flavors from whatever you cook them with. Some people will deep-fry the aubergine first to bring out the sweetness of the aubergine. I found deep-frying aubergine is awfully greasy. Aubergine is like a sponge and it absorbs lots of oil when you do that. I decided to stir-fry mine until they are soft and then cooked them in the sauce, and still find it very delicious with much lesser fat from the deep-frying.
Find out more about my other eggplants recipes.
- 2 large aubergines
- 3 cloves of garlic (finely chopped)
- 1 tsp grated or chopped ginger
- 3 Tbsp chili bean sauce
- 2 red bird's eye chilis (seeded and chopped)-optional
- 2 tsp of cornflour + 2 tsp water
- 1/2 cup chicken stock
- 3 Tbsp canola oil
- 1 tsp light soy
- 1 tsp dark soy
- 2 Tbsp shaoxing wine
- 2 Tbsp Chinese black vinegar
- 2 tsp sugar
- 3 stalks of spring onions (chopped)
Mix the sauce ingredients and set aside. Cut the aubergine in half and then half again and cut into about 2-inch chunks. Soak them in the water while you are preparing other things to prevent oxidation (browning)
In a wok/skillet, add in about 2 Tbsp of oil. When the oil is hot enough, add in the aubergine and stir fry until they are rather soft and golden brown. Dish out and put on a plate
Add about 1 Tbsp of oil into the same wok/skillet. Heat the oil again. Add in ginger, red chili and garlic and stir-fry for about 10-15 seconds until fragrant. Add in the chili bean sauce and stir-fry until fragrant. Pour in the sauce mixture and cook for about 1 minute, have a taste and add more sugar or soy sauce if needed. Add in the fried aubergine and pour in 1 cup of chicken stock. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to let them simmer gently until the aubergine is completely soft and cooked through and the liquid has reduced by two third
Give the cornflour mixture a stir and pour into the wok/skillet to thicken the sauce. Turn off the heat. Sprinkle the chopped spring onion. Dish out to serving platter and serve immediately with rice and other dishes