Aubergines

Aubergines

Ingredients

Serves 4
  • 200mls mirin [sweetened rice wine]
  • 50mls light soy sauce
  • 1 knob of fresh ginger, finely grated
  • 4 spring onions, trimmed and finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 2 red chillies, de-seeded and finely chopped
  • 4 long purple Asian aubergines
  • Peanut oil - or other neutral-flavoured oil

 

Method

  1. To prepare the aubergines, cut them in half lengthways and lightly score their inside surfaces with a sharp knife in a criss-cross fashion - don't go too deep.
  2. Pour the mirin into a saucepan; bring up to the boil, then simmer until reduced to about half its original volume. Decant into a bowl and allow to cool completely.
  3. Add the remaining 6 ingredients and stir together (Soy sauce, ginger, spring onions, garlic, sesame oil, red chillies)
  4. Pre-heat the oven to 220C/gas mark 7.
  5. Heat a couple of tablespoons of the neutral oil in a large frying pan until hot, but not smoking. Lower in the aubergines cut side down and fry until the flesh is golden [you will have to do this in batches, together with more oil]; about 3 minutes.
  6. Now turn them over and cook for about half the time on their skins.
  7. Remove from the frying pan and place onto a shallow baking tray, cut side uppermost.
  8. Now, carefully spoon over about half the dressing, dividing it as you go between each aubergine. Press into the gaps with the spoon as you go.
  9. Place in the oven [top shelf] for 4 minutes.
  10. Once you see them bubbling, remove from the oven and add more dressing.
  11. Continue to bake the aubergines until very tender and almost drenched in the aromatic dressing; residue will also have collected in the dish, which will have further become deliciously brown and sticky.
  12. Flash under a hot grill to add extra gilding, if you so wish.