Traditionally a dim sum/yum cha dish, it is also a Asian delicious starter or accompaniment.
I had read a few different recipes and methods and was initially suspicious about the stuffing coming out whilst the eggplant cooks, but it turned out fine.
The trick is to make sure you use big purple eggplants and cut generous thick slices to begin with so your pockets have generous “side” flaps for the prawn mixture to sit within.
Prep time: 10 minutes cooking time: 25 minutes
- 1 large thick eggplant about 20-25cm long or 2 smaller ones
- 3-4 large green prawns shelled and deveined
- 1/2 zucchini
- 3 tablespoons oyster sauce
- 1/2 tablespoon soy sauce
- 3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 3 Spring onions chopped – about 3/4 cup
- 1 teaspoon crushed ginger
- 3 cloves of garlic
- 1 tablespoon cornflour or potato flour
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 teaspoons sesame oil
1. Chop prawns, Zucchini, and 2 garlic cloves and put into food processor.
2. Add ginger, soy sauce, 1 tablespoon only of oyster sauce, 1 teaspoon sesame oil, white pepper, 1 teaspoon sugar.
3. Process until a smoothish paste forms.
4. Put paste into a mixing bowl, add 1/2 spring onions chopped, cornflour and mix.
5. Top and tail eggplant, then cut into approximately 5cm pieces. Then cut a deep slit halfway through each piece WITHOUT slicing to the bottom. You should have 4-5
6. Fill each of the pieces generously with the prawn stuffing. Don’t worry too much if there is a bit of “overhang”!
7. Heat the vegetable oil and 1 teaspoon sesame oil in heavy based pan, then place eggplant pockets in pan and fry over medium heat until both sides are golden brown.
8. Add half a cup of water into the pan and cover with lid so the whole thing can steam, turn carefully and repeat with another half cup steaming until prawn mixture is cooked puffy and a pale pinky yellow.
9. Place eggplant on platter, reserving any liquid in pan,and keep warm in low oven whilst you make the sauce.
10. Add 2 tablespoons oyster sauce, 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar, 1 clove finely chopped garlic, 1 teaspoon sugar and 1/2 teaspoon of sesame oil to pan, bring to a simmer allowing to slightly thicken. Add rest of chopped spring onion, then pour over eggplant and serve.