How to not fry an aubergine

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How to not fry an aubergine

Postby StokeySue » July 10th, 2014, 9:22 am

Last night for supper I made Eggplant and Tofu in Spicy Garlic Sauce, from Fat Free Vegan Kitchen
FFVK is worth a look, she (Susan Voisin) is very good at finding and explaining techniques for low-fat cooking and has some good ideas generally

This is the recipe; it is recommended (but see notes below)
http://blog.fatfreevegan.com/2006/08/eggplant-and-tofu-in-spicy-garlic.html

I made a couple of changes; first I didn't peel the aubergines (why would you?) and second I didn't have the types of chilli sauce & vinegar specified, so I subbed chilli bean paste and Chinkiang vinegar

This takes the dish back to something closer to its likely origin, Sichuan Fish Fragrant Aubergine
Here's Fuchsia Dunlop's version
http://www.thecaterer.com/articles/332921/fish-fragrant-aubergines-by-fuschia-dunlop

I will probably take the flavourings in the FFVK recipe further back to towards the original next time, there's too much soy in the FFVK recipe for my taste

BUT the point is that fish fragrant aubergines are traditionally made deep frying the aubergines, not exactly the low-calorie option and the FFVK method works a treat as a substitute :tu:

What you do is slice a couple of aubergines and then oil (I sprayed) a suitable non-stock pan (she recommends a wok, I used a chef's pan for two aubergines, about 600 g). Heat the pan, put in the aubergines and a little water, cover and cook over a medium heat stirring frequently until nicely browned. Add your sauce ingredients, and simmer until fully cooked

it's quick, the aubergines to my surprise browned beautifully, and the texture was nearly as good as deep frying - without the calories or the faff (I'm not really set up for deep frying, I do so little)

I think the initial cooking method could be applied to many aubergine recipes
Last edited by StokeySue on July 10th, 2014, 9:28 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: How to not fry an aubergine

Postby Suelle » July 10th, 2014, 10:01 am

I tried a Yotam Ottolenghi recipe recently which steamed 3cm cubes of aubergine for 10 minutes, before topping with a fried and flavoured pork mince mixture. I thought that way of cooking aubergines gave an excellent result, but they don't brown that way, of course.
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Re: How to not fry an aubergine

Postby ianinfrance » July 10th, 2014, 10:03 am

StokeySue wrote:I think the initial cooking method could be applied to many aubergine recipes
Thanks Sue, that looks very interesting indeed. I've got a very good non stick frying pan that's pretty big. How thick did you slice the aubergines - roughly?

Suelle, that steaming method is similar to the one I use for my zaalouk. BUT as you say, they don't brown.
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Re: How to not fry an aubergine

Postby StokeySue » July 10th, 2014, 10:08 am

ianinfrance wrote:Thanks Sue, that looks very interesting indeed. I've got a very good non stick frying pan that's pretty big. How thick did you slice the aubergines - roughly?


I followed the FFVK instructions (apart from leaving the skin on)

Susan wrote:sliced into strips 2-inches long, 1-inch wide, and 1/4-inch thick
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Re: How to not fry an aubergine

Postby ianinfrance » July 10th, 2014, 2:56 pm

Ta.
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Re: How to not fry an aubergine

Postby Zosherooney » July 11th, 2014, 7:00 am

This is what I do to BBQ aubergines (and courgettes). Slice into circles, 1cm thick, grease lightly with whatever fat you choose, I had some rendered beef fat then drizzle on anchovy paste/sauce - again thinly as it can be salty. BBQ topping side upwards, then the fat and flavour soak thru during cooking. Mr Z moves them around the BBQ and the A'gines take a little longer or it it like chewing on a bath sponge. Pesto works too or a chili sauce if you prefer.
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