HOW TO # 3 // STEAMING AUBERGINE

Screen shot 2014-04-22 at 15.34.45Screen shot 2014-04-22 at 15.35.29Screen shot 2014-04-22 at 15.32.35 Screen shot 2014-04-22 at 15.33.20Screen shot 2014-04-22 at 15.37.55Aubergine is one of those funny vegetables where the way in which it’s cooked can have such a polarising effect on its success as a dish.  Undercook aubergine and it will be squeaky, chewy and generally unpleasant, but when it’s cooked right it’s gloriously soft, silky-smooth and has a deep and smoky flavour.  I truly believe that there is little better in life then tucking into a well made bowl of babaganoush or a good old aubergine parmigiana.

Now, I don’t want to sound overdramatic but I have stumbled across the MOST incredible way to cook aubergine.  Steam it!  It’s quick, healthy and most importantly it always leaves you with impossibly soft, perfectly cooked morsels of aubergine.

After tinkering around in the kitchen I have come up with a recipe for steamed aubergine with an Asian dressing (the perfect accompaniment to salmon or cod) but to use steamed aubergine in a different way, simply follow the instructions below up until you add the dressing and go on to use in whatever dish you heart desires –  I think it would be a great addition to a rich tomato pasta sauce.

Feeds 4 as a side.

INGREDIENTS:
2 aubergines // 2 tbsp soy sauce // 2 tbsp rice vinegar // 1.5 tbsp honey // 1 tsp sesame oil // 1/2 red chilli; finely diced // 1 large garlic clove; minced // 1 small piece fresh ginger (approx 7 grams); minced // 10g coriander

METHOD:
Start by cutting the aubergine into wedges of a similar size (to do this, I cut mine in two widthways and then cut each piece in half lengthways then each half into wedges.) Place the wedges into your steamer skin side down – depending on the size of your steamer, you might have to steam them in two batches – and steam until the aubergine is super soft.  This took around 12min for me.

To make the dressing, simply combine all of the remaining ingredients apart from the coriander.

Once the aubergine is cool enough to handle gently squeeze the wedges to remove any excess water.

To serve, arrange the aubergine in the vessel of your choice and pour over the dressing.  Finish with a handful of coriander leaves.

S-O-T-H TIP:
This recipe is best eaten warm or at room temperature.  To maximise flavour – if you have the time – I would leave the aubergine to marinate in the dressing for around 10min.

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