Spicy Eggplant & Young Jackfruit Salad

From Hue, the centre of Vietnamese Buddhism, this vegetarian dish uses the very dense, almost meat-like flesh of the jackfruit. When you prepare jackfruit, be mindful that it releases a very sticky sap when cut. Oil the blade of your knife so it passes through the fruit easily, and try not to get any of the sap on your fingers.
Serves 6
Total Time
1 Hour
1 small young jackfruit
3 long eggplants (aubergines)
½ tsp of salt
Vegetable oil, for pan-frying
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2cm (¾ inch) knob of fresh ginger, thinly sliced
1 long red chilli, seeded and cut into thin strips
2 tbsp of soy sauce
Juice of ½ lime
½ tsp of sugar
¹⁄³ tsp of freshly ground black pepper
2 tsp of chilli sauce
½ tsp of sesame oil
1 tbsp of sesame seeds, toasted
3 spring onions (scallions), cut into rings
Rice crackers, to serve
Step 1

Using a large sharp knife, cut the jackfruit in half lengthways to make it easier to work with. Carefully cut away the tough outer rind and discard. Thinly slice the jackfruit flesh, placing the pieces in water as you go, to stop them discolouring.

Step 2

Drain the jackfruit, place in a saucepan and cover with cold water. Weigh the jackfruit down with a small plate to ensure all the fruit is submerged. Slowly bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Drain well. When cool enough to handle, squeeze out any excess liquid.

Step 3

Meanwhile, cut the eggplant into 4cm (1 inch) batons and place in a colander. Sprinkle with the salt and leave to sit for 30 minutes. Rinse the salt off the eggplant and pat dry with paper towel.

Step 4

Heat about 1cm (0.4 inch) of oil in a wok or frying pan and cook the eggplant over medium heat in two batches, for about five minutes per batch, until soft and golden brown. Remove from the pan and drain on paper towel.

Step 5

Drain any excess oil from the wok, wipe the wok clean and return to the heat. Add one tablespoon oil of and cook the garlic, ginger and chilli over medium heat for one minute, until fragrant.

Step 6

Now add the eggplant and jackfruit. Toss to combine, then toss the soy sauce, lime juice, sugar, pepper and chilli sauce through. Finally, add the sesame oil, sesame seeds and spring onion and toss to combine. Serve with rice crackers.

Recipe courtesy of Made in Vietnam: Homestyle Recipes From Hanoi To Ho Chi Min by Tracey Lister & Andreas Pohl

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