Aubergines in spicy peanut sauce

The Mail on Sunday - You - - Foodtablesfortwo -

Hot, salty-savoury and nutty, for me, this is the per­fect com­fort dish. Serve the aubergines with wheat noo­dles or steamed jas­mine rice. SERVES 2 192 CALS PER SERV­ING 1 tbsp rape­seed oil, plus 1 tsp 300g pur­ple au­bergine, sliced into 1cm x 3cm strips 1 red chilli, de­seeded and finely sliced 1 tbsp Shaohs­ing rice wine or dry sherry FOR THE SAUCE 1 tsp smooth peanut but­ter 1 tbsp chilli bean paste (some­times called chilli bean sauce) 1 tsp sesame paste, such as tahini 2 tbsp low-sodium light soy sauce 1 tbsp Chinkiang black rice vine­gar or bal­samic vine­gar 1 tbsp corn­flour 50ml cold wa­ter TO SERVE 1 spring onion, finely sliced 1 tsp toasted sesame seeds

Whisk to­gether all the in­gre­di­ents for the sauce in a jug, then set aside. Heat a wok over a high heat un­til smok­ing and add the ta­ble­spoon of rape­seed oil. Add the au­bergine strips and stir-fry for 4-5 min­utes while adding small drops of wa­ter to soften the au­bergine – about 100ml in to­tal. As the wa­ter evap­o­rates, keep adding more. Once soft­ened, push the aubergines to one side of the wok and add the re­main­ing tea­spoon of rape­seed oil. Fry the sliced chilli for a few sec­onds, then sea­son with the Shaohs­ing rice wine or dry sherry.

Give the sauce a stir, then add to the wok and cook gen­tly, stir­ring and toss­ing all the in­gre­di­ents to­gether un­til the sauce is heated through and has coated the aubergines – about 2 min­utes.

Gar­nish with the spring onion and toasted sesame seeds and serve im­me­di­ately.

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