Every now and then, I miss home; especially the local food that I’ve been bought up with being a child. Food is probably one of the things that brings a good connection to myself and my home town, even though I’ve left home for almost 2 decades!
Eggplants.. Hmm.. What can I say about this vegie.. It wasn’t really one of those that I enjoy much as a kid; although this dish is pretty common in hawker streets and yum cha traditions but its definitely not in my number 1 list… But IK loves it…and ever since I discovered my passion in cooking, being able to cook something nostalgic is so important to me; as well as to IK. Being brought up in the same hometown, it is these little things that bring us together.. Food is definitely the catalyst that gave us the special connections.
This dish, like I said is IK’s favourite. And over time, I sort of got influenced by him and start learning how to love eggplants. Soon I realised how you cook eggplants is so important in order to bring great flavours to the mouth!
PS: Don’t forget to check out my new GIF animation… the thicken tasty black bean sauce! YUM! ENJOY!
You’ll need (serves 4):
- 4 oblong eggplants
For the Fish Stuffing
- 300 grams of boneless fish fillet, cut into bite pieces
- 3 pieces of Chinese mushroom, soaked overnight and drained, finely diced
- 3 sticks of spring onion, finely dices
- 1 teaspoon of cornflour
- 1 tablespoon of salt
- 1/2 teaspoon of sugar
- 1 tablespoon of sesame oil
For the sauce:
- 2 teaspoon of Black beans sauce
- 150ml of chicken stock
- 1 teaspoon of cornflour
- 1 teaspoon of cold water
- 2 cloves of garlic , minced
- In a food processor, place all the ‘fish mince’ ingredients and blend unit it becomes a fish paste. Remove from the food processor and transfer into a large bowl. Leave aside.
- Rinse eggplants and wipe dry. Cut egg plants into 4 equal cylinders, repeat until all eggplants are done. Soak into salted water for 10 minutes. Drain well and wipe dry with paper towel.
- Use a knife, stuff fish paste onto the “yellow face” of the eggplants.
- Heat oil in a non-stick frypan. Place the side with fish meat on pan and fry over medium heat until the fish paste turns golden brown. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Add oil in frypan on high heat and add garlic. Stir until aromatic. Sauté black bean sauce for another 1 minute.
- Pour in chicken stock and bring to a boil. Add stuffed eggplants. If sauce dries up too quickly, replenish water if necessary.
- Mix cold water with cornflour in a small bowl. Once cornflour dissolves completely, add the mixture to the eggplants. Give it a good thorough stir.
- Close the lid, turn down to medium heat and cook for another 10 minutes until eggplants softens.
- Dish up the eggplants and drizzle the sauce over before serving.
- I like soaking my eggplants into salted water so that it can keep the purple skin colour on longer, and taste crispier. Without the soaking, the skin turns black very quickly.
- If you do not want to make your own fish mince, it can be purchased in Asian grocery stores.