Black Bean Aubergines
Black Bean Aubergines

Black Bean Aubergines

The seared golden criss-cross on these aubergine slices is definitely a crowd-pleaser. Just remember shop-bought black bean sauces will vary from brand to brand – some may be sweeter and others may be saltier. Adjust accordingly; add sugar or maple syrup if needed or, if salty, use less and mellow it out with a splash of water and reduce the soy sauce.
Photography: UYEN LUU

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Total Time
30 Minutes
2 aubergines
2 tbsp of rapeseed oil
2 tbsp of ghee
4 garlic cloves, crushed or finely chopped
20g of spring onions, sliced thinly lengthways
3-4 tbsp of black bean sauce
1 tbsp of soy sauce
1 tsp of maple syrup
1 squeeze of lemon or lime juice, plus zest
3-4 tbsp of black bean sauce
Step 1

Slice the aubergine lengthways into 4cm x 1cm thick pieces. Using a sharp knife, score lines 3mm into the flesh to make a grid on both sides. Using a pastry brush, thinly paint the oil on all sides of the aubergine.

Step 2

In a large frying pan over a high heat, place the slices of aubergine flat onto the pan and sear for 5 minutes on each side. Set aside in a single layer on a serving platter.

Step 3

In a small saucepan over a medium heat, add the ghee and cook the garlic until it catches colour, then add the spring onions, black bean sauce, soy sauce and maple syrup.

Step 4

Bring to a simmer for 2-3 minutes then pour all over the surface of the seared aubergine slices. To serve, squeeze over lime juice plus its zest and bird’s eye chilli (if using).

Step 5

Serve as a side dish or enjoy with steamed rice, sticky rice with mung beans or vermicelli noodle salad bowls.

Cook's tips:

  1. Make the sauce ahead of time without the spring onions, and when ready to serve, reheat with the spring onions.
  2. You can also sear the aubergines ahead and keep warm in a 70°C (158°F) fan oven or reheat in the microwave when ready to serve.
  3. Feel free to use extra herbs like coriander leaves and Thai basil, garnish with fresh chilli or flakes, toasted sesame seeds, nori strips, nuts and seeds.

Recipe Courtesy Of Vietnamese Vegetarian: Simple Vegetarian Reciped From A Vietnamese Home Kitchen by Uyen Luu (Hardie Grant, £25)
Photography: Uyen Luu  

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