Hello everyone! As you know, steaming is one of the healthiest ways of cooking food. Today I’m gonna show you how to make a delicious appetizer mainly by steaming. If you like spicy food then you absolutely should try this recipe out. This appetizer is called “steamed eggplant with self-made chili sauce”, so of course, the two main tasks are steaming the eggplant and making the chili sauce. If you don’t like spicy food then you can adjust the amount the chili you use while making the sauce. Since this is an appetizer, normally I eat this dish as a cold dish, but if you prefer eating hot eggplants, you don’t need to wait for them to get cold. This dish is quite easy to make and in general I would say it takes 25-30 mins. Now let’s see how to get this dish done and what the key procedures are.
- Eggplant (1)
- Sichuan pepper (some) (this pepper is also called numb pepper, it can make your tongue numb)
- Chili (some, depending on how spicy you want the dish to be. both fresh and dry are ok)
- Ginger (20g)
- Garlic (4-5 cloves)
- Chives (3-4g)
- Soy sauce (15-20g)
- Sunflower oil (5-8g)
- Aromatic Zhenjiang vinegar (5-8g)
- Sesame oil (10g)
- Salt (to taste)
- Sugar (a little bit)
2.1 Wash the eggplant and cut it into 1 cm wide 1 cm high strips, as for the length, as long as it fits in the bowl of steaming, it doesn’t matter much.
2.2 Spread a bit of salt on each piece and then put them together in a bowl or plate. Put the bowl or plate in a steamer and be ready to steam.
2.3 Grind the garlic and cut the chives and ginger.
2.4 Cut the chilis into small pieces and put the chilis together with the Sichuan pepper into a small bowl (The bowl has to be heat resistant because later we will pour very hot oil into to make the chili sauce).
With all the preparation done, now let’s start cooking!
First of all, put the steamer on a pot and steam the eggplant pieces for 15 mins with fire 5/6.
Now the most important thing is how to make the chili sauce.
3.1 Add all the soy sauce, aromatic vinegar, sesame oil, ginger, garlic chives and a bit of sugar into a bowl and put it aside. (If you feel the garlic is spicy for your stomach, add less or put it together with dried chilis and Sichuan pepper and with them, “fry” it using hot oil.)
3.2 Use a pan to heat up the sunflower oil for around 2-3 mins with fire 5/6. Pour the oil immediately after removing from fire into the small bowl with chilis and Sichuan pepper. The chilis and Sichuan pepper have to sizzle as if they were fried in the oil in a pan and you should be able to smell the chilis and Sichuan pepper instantly. Otherwise, the taste of chilis and Sichuan pepper won’t be in the oil and thus not in the dish. (Protect yourself here as when the very hot meets water, it splashes violently and even break a normal glass. That’s why I used dried chilis and said you should use a high quality heat-resistant bowl) Put this self-made chili sauce aside to cool down.
3.3 After the chili oil cools down, mix it with the sauce we prepared before (with soy sauce, aromatic vinegar, sesame oil, ginger, garlic and chives). If you don’t wanna eat the dried chilis and Sichuan peppers, you can get rid of them using a filter and only add the oil to the sauce. You should make the sauce when the eggplant is being steamed so you can save some time.
3.4 When the sauce is ready and it has already been 15 mins, take out the steamed eggplant and put the strips into a plate.
3.5 The last step would be to spread the sauce on the steamed eggplant. Try to spread it evenly so that each piece gets some sauce, but if some pieces are in the middle and can’t touch the sauce, when you eat them, you should dip them into the sauce (normally the sauce should flow into each piece because eggplant absorbs them quite well).
And now this appetizer is finished. Easy, quick and healthy! 🙂 Bon appetite!