Cantonese aubergineSubscribe to Sainsbury's magazine
This dish has a rich umami flavour and goes perfectly with plain white rice. If you don’t want to fry the aubergines, you could toss them in oil and oven roast. The balsamic and anchovies aren't traditional but they’re good substitutes for the Chinkiang vinegar and dried salted Chinese fish you’d get in Hong Kong
- 2 large aubergines
- 2 tbsp cornflour
- 300ml vegetable oil to deep-fry, plus 1 tsp
- 1 thumb-sized piece of root ginger, grated
- 5 garlic cloves, crushed
- 4 spring onions, green and white separated and diced
- 4 anchovies, finely chopped (optional) – omit the anchovies for a vegetarian dish
- 1 tsp caster sugar
- 1 tsp Shaoxing rice wine or dry sherry
- 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 tbsp dark soy sauce
- 5 tsp light soy sauce
- Cut the aubergine into batons and add to a large bowl with the cornflour. Toss the aubergine so it is evenly coated and set aside. Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over a medium-high heat. In batches, fry the aubergine for 3-4 minutes until golden brown all over, and drain on kitchen paper. Set the oil aside to cool and then discard.
- Heat a wok (with a lid) over a medium-high heat with 1 teaspoon of oil. Add the ginger, garlic and white part of the spring onions and cook for 30 seconds, stirring, until aromatic, being careful not to let it burn. Add the anchovies (if using), green part of the spring onion, sugar, rice wine, balsamic, and dark and light soy sauces.
- Add the aubergine and stir well to coat all the pieces, then add 100ml of boiling water, reduce the heat to low and simmer, covered, for 10 minutes until the sauce has thickened.
- Serve with boiled rice and steamed greens, or you could pop in bao buns for a veggie filling (if you've left out the anchovies).