Sichuan chicken & au­bergine

The Mail on Sunday - You - - Foodtablesfortwo -

You can also use tofu, minced pork or shi­itake mush­rooms for this recipe in­stead of chicken, and serve it with steamed jas­mine rice. It’s del­ish! SERVES 2 365 CALS PER SERV­ING 200g bone­less chicken thighs, sliced into 1cm strips pinch of sea salt flakes pinch of ground white pep­per 1 tsp corn­flour 2 tbsp rape­seed oil 200g au­bergine, sliced into ba­tons 2 gar­lic cloves, crushed and finely chopped 2.5cm piece of fresh root ginger, peeled and grated 1 medium red chilli, de­seeded and finely chopped 1 tbsp chilli bean paste or chilli bean sauce 1 tbsp Shaohs­ing rice wine or dry sherry 1 spring onion, finely sliced, to gar­nish FOR THE SAUCE 100ml cold vegetable stock 1 tbsp low-sodium light soy sauce 1 tbsp Chinkiang black rice or bal­samic vine­gar 1 tbsp corn­flour

Place the chicken in a bowl and sea­son with the salt, white pep­per and corn­flour and stir to com­bine.

Whisk to­gether all the in­gre­di­ents for the sauce in a jug, then set aside.

Heat a wok over a high heat and, as the wok starts to smoke, add 1 ta­ble­spoon rape­seed oil. Add the au­bergine and stir-fry for 5 min­utes un­til soft­ened and brown. Dur­ing this process, keep adding 50ml of wa­ter in small drops around the edge of the wok to cre­ate some steam to help cook and soften the au­bergine. When soft and cooked, trans­fer to a plate and set aside.

Re­turn the wok to the heat and add the re­main­ing ta­ble­spoon of rape­seed oil. Add the gar­lic, ginger, chilli and chilli bean sauce and cook to­gether for a few sec­onds. Add the chicken strips and cook for 1 minute un­til they start to turn brown and opaque, then sea­son with the rice wine or dry sherry and stir-fry for 3 min­utes un­til the chicken is cooked all the way through.

Re­turn the aubergines to the wok, pour in the sauce and sim­mer on a medium heat for 3 min­utes. Sprin­kle the spring onion over and serve im­me­di­ately.

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