Continuing with my current interest in tasty side-dishes, my next experiment took me to the realm of the aubergine. I like aubergines a lot, though I am not so keen on the amount of oil used to soften them. I found a decent looking recipe on the website withaglass, which used steaming as an alternative method to frying. I was also curious about Chinese black vinegar, which I had neither used or seen previously.
This recipe is definitely one I shall use again. There is a subtlety to the taste that the chili oil and vinegar lend to the dish that sets it apart from anything else I have tasted.
Ingredients (serves two):
1 medium aubergine
2 tablespoons light soy sauce
1 teaspoon Chinese black vinegar (Chinkiang, easily found in Asian shops)
1 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon chili oil preferably containing flakes; I used my home made Taberu Rayu, but I think any chili oil with the addition of chili flakes will do
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
Cut the aubergine in two. If you have a separate steamer, the author advises to steam the aubergine for 5-10 minutes over a high flame. Cut the aubergine into bite-sized pieces and serve either hot or cold with the chili sauce aside (as a dip) or pour the sauce directly over it (this is the way I preferred it).