Aubergine, eggplant, brinjal, whatever you call it, they all refer to the same vegetable. I have grown to love this vegetable after realising how versatile it can be used in cooking. It tastes wonderful in the French ratatouille, roasted, mashed and made into dips, seasoned and grilled over charcoal, battered and deep-fried into Japanese tempura, braised, stuffed in the Malaysian Yong Tau Fu and the list goes on.
Wonderfully acclaimed as it can be but on its own, there is not much to shout about. The aubergine is almost like a sponge, it has the ability to soak up sauces while it cooks, thus creating a rich flavourful dish. To learn more about this magnificent vegetable which happens to be the highest consumed vegetable in the Middle East, click here.
I am sure many of you are well acquainted with dishes like the Thai Green Curry cooked with clusters of bitter pea-size eggplant, the Middle-Eastern dip called Baba Ghannoujand and so on. In Malaysia, aubergine is popular as a stuffed vegetable in our local dish ‘Yong Tau Fu‘ and it is also found in our ‘Acar Awak’ vegetable pickle. I have a simple yet refreshing aubergine dish you may want to try in your daily cooking. As for aubergines, I always insists on buying small organic ones.
serves 3 (as a starter or side dish)
8 small organic aubergines
2 Tbsp garlic oil
a dash of sesame oil
1 tsp dark soy sauce
2 tsp light soy sauce
1/2 tsp oyster sauce (optional)
1 red bird eye chili (finely chopped)
1 small green chili (finely chopped) – optional
- Slice off the hard part of the stem, leaving a little portion uncut. Make a cross incision at the end of the aubergine all the way up till almost reaching the uncut stem.
- Place aubergines on a metal plate and steam for 20 minutes.
- Mix all the ingredients in the sauce together and set aside.
- Discard any access water as a result from steaming. Arrange aubergines on a serving plate. Using 2 forks, slowly shred the steamed aubergines Â into fine streaks. Drizzle the sauce over the hotÂ aubergines and garnish with the pepperÂ and chopped chili.
- Serve hot.