Oriental Style Aubergine – I’m Going Soft.

Don’t make a mistake about it, I’m a real hard-man. I walk tough, I talk tough. I can see out most of the bad-assed things that life throws my way. Though, there are a couple of exceptions to the rule of tough. I’m a sucker for a sob story. I can’t stand the sight of blood (particularly my own) and I am a fear-ridden jelly when it comes to the dentist.

So when I had a tooth extracted and had a post fitted for a crown, I didn’t cover myself with glory. The one good thing I have in all of this is that I internalise. Outwardly, I was as calm and relaxed as one could be. Inwardly, well inwardly is my own business. So, after the screaming stopped (the drill, not me), my dentist advised me to stay away from hard foods. No meat, no crusty bread and definitely no toffee. I took my numbed face home and poured a coffee down my shirt front while I cogitated the evening meal. All of this misery did help produce one half decent thought. Aubergine with Lamb in an Oriental Style. So before I start to weep as I shudder at the thought of the drilling and filling, here’s how to cook this easy-chew delight.

Ingredients (for four people if served with rice)

  • 2 aubergines
  • 250gms of lamb mince (use pork, chicken, turkey or beef if you prefer)
  • 3 spring onions
  • 1 red chilli
  • 1 tablespoon of soy sauce
  • Half a tablespoon of cornstarch
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 piece (2.5cm/1″) of fresh ginger root
  • 1 teaspoon of cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon of black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon of ground coriander
  • 2 teaspoons of sesame oil
  • 2 to 3 heaped teaspoons of salt

That knife is as sharp as a dentist’s needle. Note that I sliced my finger in my enthusiasm for soft food.

In a large bowl, dissolve the salt in about a litre of water. Slice the aubergines into large rings and then cut into bite sized pieces. Put the slices into the salted water and place a plate over to keep the slices submerged. This will prevent them going brown and will also allow the salted water to do its job of extracting liquid from the aubergine slices.

A set of inexpensive steel kitchen bowls is a great investment.

While the aubergine sits in the water (leave it there for 30 to 60 minutes), get on with preparing the other ingredients. Slice the ginger up nice and small. Do likewise with the chilli, garlic, spring onion and ginger.

When I say nice and small, I mean nice and small.

Remove the aubergine pieces from the brine. Pat them dry with a clean tea towel or similar. Rinse and dry the bowl. Heat a little oil in a large wok (this is an Oriental style dish is it not?). Add the garlic and ginger. Stir fry until the aromas rise out of the wok. Add in the spring onions and stir a little longer. Then add in the lamb and chilli. Stir until the lamb turns colour. Add the soy sauce and the sesame oil. Stir for another couple of minutes. Remove from the heat and set this mixture aside.

There is a lot of flavour going on in the wok right now.

Put the aubergines into the bowl and sprinkle them with the cornstarch. Stir it to coat. Wipe the wok clean and add a little more cooking oil. Add the aubergine and stir fry it for about five minutes. The aubergine will get nice and soft (and easy for a dental victim like me to eat). When it is, add back the meat sauce. Stir it to coat the aubergine.

The strong meat sauce sticks to the aubergine and makes a lovely soft dish.

Serve the dish either on it’s own (very rich in my opinion) or with some boiled or steamed rice (also easy to eat for a toothless creature like me).

Flavourful and healthy. Perhaps I should go to the dentist more often?

I don’t meant to diss the dentist in this post. If I were man enough to go more frequently, I would need less work done now. I suppose preparing a lovely dish like this is some compensation for all the fear, pain and slobbering caused by my treatment. I am happy to recommend this dish to you. I would even recommend my dentist if you need an extraction or three….

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Latest comments
  • My goodness that looks good. I’m starting to have eggplants growing out my ears, so I’m collecting as many eggplant recipes that are unique as I can! Love this one.

  • My sympathies…. At least there’s nothing wrong with your tastebuds! I love the look of this one.

  • Bless your heart! Yet, even after your harrowing experience, you muscled through to provide another blockbuster of a dish. We just ground 40 lbs. of venison and elk so guess what I’ll be using. However, I’ve got to give it a try with the lamb. I love lamb.

  • This looks great! I’d cook the aubergine a lot longer than 5 minutes. They are softish pretty soon, but I like them fully cooked. Hope you can have raw carrots again soon!

  • Altho’ neither dentists not blood faze me overmuch I do empathize with your feeling world and just hope you will soon have a happy mouth attacking apples, nuts and bones 🙂 ! Love eggplant but have net thought Asian fusion when faced with the beauties. Well, the Irish lesson is noted and will be followed step by step . . . always cook my vegetables al dente so your timing suits perfectly . . . and lamb does accompany aubergines just perfectly . . . hope all your summer plans are coming to a fruition . . .

  • off topic: smiled at our new Alfa Romeo ad last night . . . a 30 second trip up the Stelvio . . . guess who came to mind . . . 🙂 !

  • A great treat to console the numb. I’m ok going to the dentist but absolutely do not like the novocaine. I always need more than most and then I feel like I’ve had a stroke. This dish would definitely make me feel better.

      • Yes, we can all do without the dribbling. Have to attempt to stay civilised.

  • Looks delicious! Another great way of using eggplants. Love how versatile they are. 🙂

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