|Chinese steamed aubergine with potato and soybean paste|
What a surprise — summer came back for one more week, just when I already accepted that autumn is starting!! We thought we were coming to Italy for an extended summer, :)) but could not predict that Oxford would become so warm in the end of September.
Anyway, we dived into the historical, romantic… and hot Verona. If we had some hesitation for leaving ‘last part of summer’ in Oxford, we quickly left it behind as we immersed ourselves into centuries old streets, buildings with the bright sunshine.
I guess I should not completely pack up my summer recipes after all — well, I really don’t want to, plus, I still haven’t mentioned many of my favorite dishes.
So this is one of my favorites, and one of the most popular ones in northeast China in summer — steamed aubergine and potato mixed with soybean paste. I learned it from my mum, she learned from her mum, my grandma said she knew how to make it from her mother-in-law — so definitely a traditional dish. It is very very easy to make, almost like salad (liang cai), but it does not need to be served cold.
However, if you are looking for it in restaurants in northern China, especially those quite ‘formal’ and ‘pricy’ ones, it might be very difficult to find. You will have to go to family run small restaurants, where this dish might very well be one of the sought after during lunch time — the hottest time of the day. Because it is very light, not stir-fried, and apart from the ‘salty’ taste of the soybean paste, there is no other seasoning, it is an ideal dish for hot summer.
If you can get ‘sorghum’ and make it into ‘sorghum’ rice, it is the best combination with this steamed aubergine and potato mixed with soybean paste. Otherwise, brown rice or parley are all good, serve it after rinsing in the cold water — just for the summer though. :))
As I said, it is very easy to make, the only thing might be a bit difficult is to find right soybean paste, if you can not find it, just use soy sauce and salt then.
Here you go.
Aubergine (one good size aubergine), potato (2 or 3 medium size potato)
Soybean paste, oil, sesame oil
1) Roughly chop the aubergine into big pieces (but if you use smaller or ‘slim’ aubergine, there is no need to chop it), place them into the steamer.
2) Peel the potato (unless it is too big, otherwise there is no need to chop them), place them into the steamer.
3) Steam the aubergine and potato until they are completely soft. (I normally use a chopstick to insert into the potato for checking if it is well done. Aubergine can be done quicker than potato, so if potato is well cooked, aubergine is done already. )
4) Meanwhile, in a heated wok, pour in around 1 or 2 tablespoon of oil, and add around 3 tablespoon of soybean paste in, stir well, then turn off the fire.
|Stir frying soya paste|
|Stir fried soya paste|
5) Rinse the aubergine and potato in the cold water.
6) Tear the aubergine into smaller ‘strips’, and potato into smaller pieces.
|Putting aubergine and potato together|
7) Pour the soybean paste onto the aubergine and potato pieces, mix them well.
|Mixing with the soya bean paste|
8) Add a few drops of sesame oil on the top. — Done!!
Easy, super easy, no? Unless it is really necessary, you shouldn’t chop the aubergine and potato into small pieces, rather do it after steamed, otherwise, there might be too much ‘steam’ getting into the aubergine and potato, and loose their original taste.
If you like, you can also use the soybean paste recipe in another post.
Ok, I am enjoying my Italian food now.
Hope you are enjoying the last part of the summer wherever you are!
- Aubergine/eggplant (one good size)
- Potato (2 or 3 medium size)
- Soybean paste
- Sesame oil
- Chop the aubergine into big pieces
- Place them into the steamer.
- Peel the potatoes and place them into the steamer.
- Steam the aubergine and potato until they are completely soft.
- Meanwhile, in a heated wok, pour in 1 or 2 tablespoon of oil, and add 3 tablespoon of soybean paste in, stir well, then turn off the fire.
- Stir fry soya paste
- Rinse the aubergine and potato in the cold water.
- Tear the aubergine into smaller strips, and potato into smaller pieces.
- Pour the soybean paste onto the aubergine and potato pieces, mix them well.
- Add a few drops of sesame oil