Cuisines collide with spaghetti, Sichuan chilli bean sauce and eggplant mapo-style, the flavours come together remarkably well.
- 500 g spaghetti
- 1 eggplant, cut into 1-cm cubes
- 125 ml (½ cup) canola or peanut oil
- 150 g beef mince
- 4 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
- 1 tbsp grated ginger
- 2 tbsp doubanjiang (Sichuan chilli bean sauce)
- 2 tbsp salted black beans
- 1 pinch Sichuan peppercorns
- salt and sugar, to season
- 4 spring onions, thinly sliced
- 1 tsp ground Sichuan pepper, to serve
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
- Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil. Add the pasta and cook according to the packet directions.
- Meanwhile, place the eggplant on a plate and microwave for about 4 minutes. Heat the oil in a large frying pan over high heat. Add the mince and cook, breaking up any lumps with a spoon until browned. Add the eggplant and cook until lightly browned. Move the eggplant and mince to one side of the pan and fry the garlic and ginger until lightly browned. Add the chilli bean paste, black beans and whole Sichuan peppercorns and stir until fragrant. Toss everything together and season with salt and sugar to taste.
- Add the spaghetti and about 2 tablespoons of the pasta water. Toss to combine, then toss through the spring onions. Serve scattered with the ground Sichuan pepper.
Adam Liaw cooks, laughs, and explores culture with some of Australia's most beloved in The Cook Up With Adam Liaw.
Photography by Adam Liaw.