Learn . Laugh . Eat

Szechuan Style Aubergine

Prep: 30 minutes

Cook: 20 minutes

Cooking aubergine can be a bit of task; due to its sponge-like nature it can turn out very oily or even rubbery if undercooked or sealed the wrong way. Here the initial frying off of the aubergine works in the same way as searing a piece of meat before a slow cook. Sealing each piece and then braising the aubergine enables it to absorb the flavours of the rich sauce more gradually, while cooking through evenly.

  • 2 Chinese aubergines
  • 2–3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 fresh bird’s-eye chilli
  • a small handful of coriander

The Sauce

  • 1 tablespoon hoisin or yellow bean sauce
  • ½ teaspoon chilli bean paste
  • 1 tablespoon light soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
  • 100ml water
  • a dash of dark soy sauce

Preparation

  • Leaving the skin on, cut the aubergines in half lengthways, then slice into 2cm thick long batons or 5cm chunks. Place them in a mixing bowl and immediately pour over 1–2 tablespoons of vegetable oil. Mix together well.

  • Heat a frying pan over a medium heat. Add the aubergine pieces and fry, turning, until golden brown and charred (but not burnt) on both sides. Remove from the heat and set aside.

  • Finely chop the garlic, chilli and coriander. Mix all the sauce ingredients together in a bowl.

Cooking

  • Heat 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil in a wok over a medium heat. Add the garlic and aubergine to the wok, then add the chilli and immediately pour over the sauce mixture. Bring to a vigorous boil, then reduce the heat to a gentle simmer and cook for 12–15 minutes over a low heat, stirring occasionally, until the sauce has caramelised and thickened slightly.

  • Spoon onto a serving plate, and scatter over the coriander to finish. Serve!


  • 2 Chinese aubergines
  • 2–3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 fresh bird’s-eye chilli
  • a small handful of coriander

The Sauce

  • 1 tablespoon hoisin or yellow bean sauce
  • ½ teaspoon chilli bean paste
  • 1 tablespoon light soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
  • 100ml water
  • a dash of dark soy sauce

Preparation

  • Leaving the skin on, cut the aubergines in half lengthways, then slice into 2cm thick long batons or 5cm chunks. Place them in a mixing bowl and immediately pour over 1–2 tablespoons of vegetable oil. Mix together well.

  • Heat a frying pan over a medium heat. Add the aubergine pieces and fry, turning, until golden brown and charred (but not burnt) on both sides. Remove from the heat and set aside.

  • Finely chop the garlic, chilli and coriander. Mix all the sauce ingredients together in a bowl.

Cooking

  • Heat 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil in a wok over a medium heat. Add the garlic and aubergine to the wok, then add the chilli and immediately pour over the sauce mixture. Bring to a vigorous boil, then reduce the heat to a gentle simmer and cook for 12–15 minutes over a low heat, stirring occasionally, until the sauce has caramelised and thickened slightly.

  • Spoon onto a serving plate, and scatter over the coriander to finish. Serve!

instagram pinterest TABLEFLIP Youtube Icon