We had such a great time presenting at this years Melbourne International Flower Show. Phil talked eggplants and I cooked them. It was a very popular dish, so give this Szechuan eggplant dish a whirl. Enjoy!
This recipe is from ABC Organic Gardener magazine Jan 2012 issue.
Serves 4 as entrée 6 as a side dish
Vegetable oil for deep-frying
6 Lebanese eggplants, trimmed and cut into 6-7cm lengths
Salt and Pepper mix
1 tablespoon Szechuan pepper
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
1 tablespoon rock salt
1/4 teaspoon sesame oil
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tablespoon grated ginger
1 long red chilli, sliced
4 green onions
1/3 cup chicken stock
1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon lime juice
½ cup unsalted cashews, toasted and roughly
1/4 cup coriander leaves, roughly copped
2 green onions, extra for garnish
1 bunch pak choy or Asian green of your choice
Heat Szechuan, black peppercorns and salt in a dry frying pan over a moderate heat until salt is slightly browned, stirring constantly to stop the spices from burning. Remove from the heat and pound to a fine powder in a mortar and pestle. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 months.
Pour enough oil into a wok or deep saucepan to come to a depth of 10 centimetres. Heat over medium-high heat to 180C. Deep-fry the eggplant in two batches until tender, 2-3 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon; drain well on paper towels. Remove the wok from the heat and carefully remove the oil and reserve.
Heat a wok over high heat until hot. Add 1 tablespoon of the reserved oil with the sesame oil. Add the garlic, ginger, chilli, green onions and 1 tablespoon of the salt and pepper mix, stir fry until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
Add the stock, sauces and limejuice and reduce the heat to medium and cook for 5 minutes until sauce thickens slightly. Stir through the cashews and pour the sauce into a serving bowl. Reheat the wok to a high heat and add the Pak Choy, stir frying until wilted.
Place the Pak Choy onto a platter and top with the eggplants. Garnish with coriander leaves, extra green onions, an extra sprinkle of salt and pepper mix and pour the sauce over the eggplants and serve with steamed rice.