Aubergines in spicy peanut sauce
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.