Spicy eggplant strips with dried shrimps.

When I was little, I used to abhor eggplants. My mom used to cooked them in pretty large pieces and I thought they looked like mangled snakes with the slightly wilted, browned purple skin and gooey flesh.

But thanks to a trip to Gohtong Jaya, Genting Highlands, my aversion towards the purple vegetable had been overturned. There, I ate the most delicious eggplant dish I had ever had. It was most unforgettable.

# – I <3 eggplants. What do you call them? Aubergine? Brinjal?

The strips of eggplant were crispy on the outside and soft in the middle, and had completely absorbed the taste and aroma of the dried shrimps with the caramelised onions contributing some delicious moisture to an otherwise dry dish. Perfect with rice but REALLY good eaten on its own too.

To be honest, I don’t know the actual recipe, but I think I managed to replicate the dish to as close to the real McCoy as possible. So yeah, I am quite pleased with myself :D

The ingredients:

  • 1 large eggplant, cut into strips with skin on
  • 1 handful of dried shrimps, soaked in water for 1/2 hour and drained
  • Some flour
  • 3 dried chillies, seeded and cleaned
  • 1 tablespoon of chinese wine
  • 1 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 1 stalk of spring onion or scallion, diced
  • 3 tablespoons of water
  • 1/2 tablespoon of salt

# – First of all, lightly coat the eggplant strips in flour.

# – Next, deep fry the eggplant strips in hot oil till the strips are shrunken and browned, not burnt. As I didn’t want to waste so much oil, I only use like 2 centimetres of oil and deep fry in a few batches.

# – Place the deep fried eggplant strips on a kitchen towel to drain off the oil.

# – Now in a saucepan, heat up some oil and throw in the chopped spring onions and onions.

# – When the aroma hits your nose, throw in the drained soaked shrimps.

# – Now throw in the dried chillies.

# – Then a tablespoon of chinese rice wine.

# – Followed by a tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce.

# – And about 3 tablespoons of water to allow some emulsification going on. Stir!

# – Now throw in the deep fried eggplant strips and mix till they’re well coated with the yummy shrimpy bits.

# – Lastly, throw in 1/2 a tablespoon of salt and stir.

# – Plate it up and garnish with a sprig of parsley because we’re all fancy like that.

# – Eaten with rice. Yummy!

Crispy, soft, flavourful and aromatic, who knew the vegetable that reminded me of slimy snakes could taste like this?