Crispy Eggplant with Sweet and Spicy Sauce

Elena Duggan

Ingredients:

  • 2 medium length eggplant or 6 Lebanese eggplant
  • 1-2L vegetable or canola oil
  • 4 spring onions, green only, finely sliced on an angle
  • 20g Toasted Sesame seeds, ground in a mortar and pestle into a powder, not paste
  • Murray River salt, to taste

Batter

  • 50g Tapioca starch/ arrowroot flour
  • 50g Rice flour, super fine
  • Pinch salt/ to taste
  • 15g Xantham Gum
  • 500g Water

Sauce

  • 100g Stevia / Monkfruit, granulated
  • 100g Water
  • 100g Soy Sauce, (gluten free alternatives available)
  • 100g Black Vinegar
  • 50g Red Vinegar
  • 50g Soy bean paste
  • 25g Chili paste
  • Pinch Sichuan peppercorns, finely crushed
  • 10g Chili oil, quantity to taste
  • 3cm thumb ginger, finely chopped or grated
  • 5 cloves garlic, finely chopped or crushed
  • 3 long red chilies, finely chopped

To Serve

  • Spring onions, sliced on an angle finely
  • Red chili, sliced on an angle finely
  • Mung bean sprouts

Method:

  1. For the sauce, place stevia and water into a medium saucepan and heat over medium high heat until dissolved. Bring to boil and reduce heat to a medium simmer.
  2. Place remaining sauce ingredients into the saucepan and simmer while stirring for 5-10minutes. To soften ingredients and thicken sauce. Remove from heat and allow cooling. Place in an airtight container and set aside.
  3. For the batter, place all ingredients in a high speed blender and blitz until thoroughly combined and a smooth batter has formed.
    Preheat the oil in the work or deep fry pan to approx. 190º Celsius – without a thermometer, you can test temperature by placing bamboo chopsticks or a timber skewer in and if bubbles form quickly and rapidly you’re good to go.
  4. To prepare the eggplant, top and tail if necessary, wasting as little flesh as possible. Cut lengthways into long skinny wedges, so that each piece has skin. Cook eggplant in batches so as not to overcrowd the wok, which can reduce the temperature too much and cause the pieces to stick together while cooking.
  5. Gently toss the eggplant in the batter before gently lowering into the hot oil. Cook for about five minutes or batter is starting to turn golden. Remove gently with a spider strainer and drain on a wire rack.
  6. To serve, toss eggplant in sauce so each piece of eggplant is glistening, before sprinkling over sesame seeds and spring onions. Pour over more sauce as desired.

Health Notes:

  • Gluten free
  • Nut free
  • Vegetarian
  • Vegan (ensuring sauces are vegan)
  • Dairy free

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