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?

Roasted ladies fingers, layered potatoes and drunk chicken.

I made dinner!

My 1st attempt at making layered potatoes was a success! Used the bf’s aunt’s recipe but I replaced crème fraiche with milk. Still turned out great – the spuds were soft & creamy with a crispy top.

# – Arrange sliced potatoes in layers. Season every layer with salt, pepper and chopped spring onions/onions. Then pour full cream milk up till just before the top of the potato layers. Pop into oven for 45-50 minutes at 160 degrees.

# – Check out the bubbling top. Woohoo!

# – Potato perfection /gloating mode on.

Roasted some ladies fingers too for a more balanced meal and they were perfect.

# – Ladies fingers seasoned with salt, black pepper, some butter, drizzle all over with olive oil and into the oven at 170 degree for 15 minutes.

Chicken dish was completely my own recipe – I’ll call it Kim’s Kickass Drunk Chicken :D Not to praise myself but the meat was soft and flavourful, so yummmy wish I had bought a whole chicken instead of half :P

# – Chicken marinating in a concoction of soya sauce, vodka, apple cider vinegar, sugar, chopped onions, spring onions, chillies and garlic. I kept some of the marinade mixture for making sauce later too.

# – Then, pan fry the chickens (discard the marinade). Once browned, remove chicken from pan and pour in some vodka to make a reduction with all the yummy bits. Then, pour in the marinade mixture saved earlier. Throw the chickens back in when sauce is bubbling and cook till cooked :)

And voila, a balanced meal!

# – Roasted ladies fingers, layered potatoes (check out the crispy crust omgs i win) and Kim’s Kickass Drunk Chicken.

Sorry for the bad pictures, my camera was not available. Will blog about my cooking properly next time :P