It might sound strange, but it contains no fish! This iconic Sichuan dish is made with the same herbs as they often use for fish. You can make it in many ways, and this is my take of different recipes put together to an easier way to cook it. You normally serve it as one of many dishes, today I made a bowl just for me. I just love it!
- 2 Chinese aubergine, or any aubergine if you can’t find the Chinese type. . About 350 gr (0,8 lbs) that you cut into 3-4 cm sticks
- Salt 1/2 dl (1/4 cup)
- cornstarch 1 dl (1/2 cup)
- Vegetable oil, for cooking. INGREDIENTS SAUCE
- 3 tablespoons Baoning or Chinkiang vinegar, which is a chinese Black vinegar. If you can’t find it use some Balsamic Vinegar. It is not the same but ok!
- 1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon light soy sauce
- 1/2 – 1 tablespoon La Doubanjiang, a fermented chilli bean paste. It should be the red one, as it is spicy. La means spicy. If you can’t find it mix together some black bean paste with some chilli flakes and a touch of oyster sauce.
- 1 table spoon Shaoxing wine, or a dry sherry if you can’t find it.
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 dl (1/2 cup) vegetable or chicken stock
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- Ingredients to add to the sauce while it is cooking, prepare and add later:
- 1 teaspoon Sichuan peppercorn
- 3-4 tiny finely chopped green onions
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped ginger
- 2 tablespoons minced garlic
- 5 Chinese dried Chili peppers
- Rinse and cut the aubergine into bite size sticks.
- Add salt to a bowl, then add the aubergine and top with water. Weigh it down with a sauce pan so that the aubergine stays under the water.
- Then prepare the rest of the ingredients.
- Drain the aubergine and pat them dry with a clean kitchen towel.
- Prepare all the ingredients for the sauce in a bowl. And prepare the ingredients that you will add to the sauce later.
- Put the aubergine into a bowl, sprinkle with cornstarch and mix it all with your clean hands until they are all covered with cornstarch.
- Heat up some oil in a nonstick frying pan. Add the aubergine to the pan, they should not lay on top of each other so you might have to do this in 2- 3 batches. They should be really dark brown, but not black. And the oil should be really hot, but turn it down if it gets too hot so that it burns!
- When done, put the aubergines at a plate. Remove most of the oil, and add Sichuan peppercorns. Cook them for awhile, and then remove them with a spoon or spatula. They should not be burnt, but you want the flavours so keep on frying them for awhile. Add the green onion, garlic, dried chilli peppers and ginger into the frying pan. Stir! Start the sauce and then add it all into the frying pan. Stir again! Let it all boil until it has thickened!
- When the sauce is nice and thick, add the aubergine and stir. Voila! It is now done! Serve with some other dishes, rice, noodles or just eat them like it is!
LITTLE TIP FROM FAB FOODIE SWEDE: When you remove the Sichuan pepper corns, then you can dry them and use them in another dish. Or grind them. It lasts in the fridge for a few weeks The green onion, put the root into a glass of water and it will grow back really fast. Change the water every day!
© Recipe and photo Malin Nordblom, Fab Foodie Swede If you wan’t to use the photos please e-mail me first at firstname.lastname@example.org