Fish-fragrant eggplant recipe (yu xiang qie zi)
- Cuisine: Chinese
- Serves 6 as part of a banquet
This Sichuan classic doesn’t actually contain fish. Instead, the origins of the dish’s name derives from the sweet, sour and spicy sauce, which is prepared using the traditional flavourings for Sichuan fish dishes.
Ingredients125ml (½ cup) peanut or vegetable oil
2 eggplants, cut into 3cm pieces
4cm-piece ginger, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, chopped
½ tsp ground Sichuan peppercorns*
3 spring onions, cut into 3cm lengths
Steamed rice, to serve
2 tbsp toban djan (chilli bean sauce)
1½ tbsp light soy sauce
1½ tbsp caster sugar
1½ tbsp Chinese black vinegar (chinkiang) or rice wine vinegar
2 tsp sesame oil
60ml (¼ cup) chicken stock or water
2 tsp cornflour
PreparationTo make spicy sauce, whisk together all the ingredients in a bowl. Set aside.
Heat oil in a wok over medium heat. Cook eggplants, in 2 batches, stirring for 5 minutes or until golden. Drain on paper towel.
Discard oil from wok, leaving enough to just coat base, and return over medium heat. Add ginger, garlic and peppercorns, and cook for 1 minute or until fragrant. Return eggplants to pan with spring onions, and cook, stirring, for a further minute. Remove from heat, pour over sauce and toss to combine. Serve with rice.
* Sichuan peppercorns are the dried red-brown berries from an ash tree and are known to have a slight mouth-numbing effect. They are available from selected delis and Asian food shops.
DRINK 2011 Pooley Late Harvest Riesling, Coal River Valley ($35)
As seen in Feast magazine, Issue 10, pg70.
Photography by Derek Swalwell.
If you enjoyed this Fish-fragrant eggplant recipe (yu xiang qie zi) then browse more Chinese recipes, side dish recipes, easy recipes, quick recipes and our most popular hainanese chicken rice recipe.
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