I had to experiment a bit with this dish but it turned out pretty well! I got inspired by Evolve Belgrave – this lovely cafe up in the hills of the outer skirts of Melbourne. Their chef is seriously a wizard! For a while now I wanted to make something with Sichuan. I found a Sichuan Chili Paste at my local Asian grocer, and that did the trick. After having brunch at the cafe for so many times now, I thought to recreate this beautiful dish.
- 1 large or 2 small eggplants, washed and diced
- Tempura batter (store bought or make your own)
- 2 bok choys
- 2 servings of brown rice
- For the sauce
- 2 tbsp Sichuan chili bean paste
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 tbsl garlic powder
- 100ml rice wine vinegar
- 50ml balsamic vinegar
- 20ml olive or sesame oil
- 1 thumbsize of ginger, grated
- To serve:
- handful of cashews
- handful of rocket salad
- fried shallots
- sesame seeds
- Step 1 Turn your deep fryer on.
- Step 2 Dice the eggplant and make the tempura batter. Coat all the pieces of eggplant in the batter and fry this (in batches) in your deep fryer.
- Step 3 In the meanwhile, put all the ingredients for the sauce together in a small pot over low heat. Continue to stir while heating and mixing the sauce.
- Step 4 Turn your gas stove on high (or use a gas barbecue) and char grill both bok choys on all sides. Make sure not to burn them!
- Step 5 Heat up your (microwave) rice.
- Step 6 Coat the eggplant pieces with the Sichuan sauce.
- Step 7 Assemble the bowl. Add some rice followed by the tempura eggplant and rocket salad. Serve with the charred bok choy and sprinkle over some cashews, sesame seeds and fried shallots. Drizzle over some of the sauce if you have some left.