Thursday, January 15, 2009

Chinese chicken and aubergine

I'm trying to expand my aubergine repertoire beyond just deep-frying them and putting them in ratatouille (which is great) or making aubergine puree. There's a brilliant Chinese restaurant in Edinburgh called the Wing Sing Inn and they do a great aubergine dish (spicy, saucy and with a bit of minced pork - although they obligingly left out the pork last time we went with a vegetarian friend, Nacho). This is nothing like the Wing Sing dish, but it's simple and very tasty.

1 lb of chicken breast
1 large aubergine
6 Chinese mushrooms (soaked for 30 minutes in hot water)
vegetable oil
1 teaspoon of minced garlic
1 teaspoon of minced ginger
2 tablespoons of oyster sauce
2 tablespoons of hoisin sauce
1 glass of white wine
1 teaspoon of sesame oil

  1. Cut the chicken breast into bite-sized chunks, cut the aubergine in half lengthwise and then cut into slices, and cut the mushrooms into 4 or 5 slices.
  2. Stir-fry the chicken chunks until they are cooked. (Unless you have a very large wok, you will need to do them in two batches to ensure they fry rather than stew. I use two medium-sized non-stick frying pans.) Remove the chicken to a bowl.
  3. Fry the garlic and ginger for 30 seconds or so, then add the aubergine. (Again, you may need to do it in two batches at the beginning.) You will need to use plenty of oil, as the aubergines tend to soak it up.
  4. Once the aubergines are soft (but not mushy - probably about 5 minutes), add the oyster and hoisin sauces and the white wine, bring to a boil and simmer for a little, then return the chicken with its juices to the pan, cover, and simmer for a few more minutes until the flavours have blended. Drizzle with a little sesame oil just before serving.
You Tube
I'm not sure if "You Tube" is an insult anywhere else in the English-speaking world, but in Scotland a 'tube' is an idiot, not a telly. Anyway, this recipe here is based on one I found there, although I've adjusted the proportions, ingredients and cooking times quite a bit so I feel I'm more than justified in including it here.

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