Eggplant pieces stuffed with prawn and Zucchini

Eggplant stuffed with prawn and zucchini filling

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

Ingredients:

  • 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

Method:

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.

Chilli Fagara #Hongkong #Hotspot

Chilli Fagar has probably seen better days in terms of past years when it was getting Michelin star ratings, now “only” Bib Gourmand recommendation but if you are looking for very good Szechuan cooking in Hong Kong then this is definitely a good value option.

The menu offers a range of spiciness ranging from tangy to numbing, so order with care.

The couple next to us were eating a noodle soup with fish, swimming in red chillies and a devilish looking broth.

We opted for our version of safety, ordering the dumplings in what is described as a “challenging” chilli sauce, prawns with dried chilli, the sweet and salty carmelised beef with peppers, and the sizzling eggplant.

All the dishes were delicious – spicy but not so hot to dull the individual flavours of the fresh ingredients.

The dumplings were set off by the chilli paste sauce….not too hot but with a bit of a kick. The prawns were huge and juicy, with a Szechuan salt and pepper flavour imbued by some of the heat of the decorative dried chillies they are surrounded by. The eggplant was deliciously sizzling with strands of a woody mushroom/fungus and finely cut bamboo shoots for crunch. The beef was sweet and salty and brought a nice touch of calm. We were very happy with our choices and enjoyed the crisp Italian Pinot Grigia with the meal.

If you are in the mood for a spicy, authentic Szechuan meal and don’t mind a bit of authentic old school service and a slightly fraying restaurant environment, then go here for the food, if not the rest!

Chilli Fegara, 7 Old Bailey Rd, Central, Hong Kong

The Old Man #1 #asias50bestbars #hongkong

You have to know what you are looking for to find the entrance to The Old Man cocktail bar in Aberdeen St, Central, Hong Kong. The door is down some steep steps in a grungy looking alleyway and barely has a door handle…! Your perseverance will be repaid in spades though when you step inside this warm and inviting “den” inspired by Ernest Hemingway’s passion for booze!

The decore is hip with fabulous lighting a giant tiled mural portrait of Ernest himself, flanked by pained walls depicting a tropical jungle setting. The bar is the focus of attention and action, with talented bartenders shaking, stirring, slicing and juicing away to create fabulous and innovative concoctions that will play to all your senses of taste, sight and smell. The cool vibes of the music and the chatter of happy guests ensure the sounds play along to create a super cool atmosphere.

There’s even a refrigerated stainless steel strip the length of the table that keeps your drinks cool, ensuring the ice doesn’t melt and water down your cocktails! Ingenious!

We tried four of the Best of The Old Man during our visit (between 2 of us!)and each cocktail delivered unique flavours and tastes heightened by intriguing ingredients and techniques such oyster leaf (tastes just like oysters) and burning rice paper to create the smoky taste from its ashes.

Weird but wonderful, The Old Man definitely delivers on its promise and is a great experience …not to be missed if you are in Hong Kong. Get there early to grab a spot at the bar and watch all the action up close.

Tim Ho Wan #michelin #dimsum #hongkong

After reading much about Tim Ho Wan’s baked bbq pork buns and homemade dim sum, we were on a mission this morning to find the original store in Hong Kong of what is now a very popular chain of restaurants.

True to the reviews the pan fried and baked bbq pork buns are absolutely delicious, with tasty pork filling encased with a light, fluffy and slightly crispy pastry. Very different to the palate binding texture of traditional pork buns.

We also tried their congee with preserved egg, steamed chive and shrimp dumplings, steamed beef brisket with turnip and steamed pork spare ribs with black bean. It was all very tasty and well executed.

The restaurant itself is unassuming and was packed with locals enjoying Saturday morning brunch/breakfast.

Definitely worth the short trip from Tsim Sha Tsui up to Olympian City 2 in Tai Kwok Tsui, West Kowloon.