You’ll notice that many of the braised dishes in this recipe book involve ‘fish’, although no real fish is used. Fish is an important and large part of Chinese cuisine.
You’ll also find that eggplants are the ingredients of choice when it comes to cooking ‘fish’ dishes in Chinese vegetarian cooking. The reason is that when prepared
properly, eggplants are the best for reproducing the flavors and textures of fish.
- Eggplant … 1 – 2 (150 – 250g)
- Chinese mushrooms … 4 – 5
- Black fungus … 12 – 15 pieces
- Green onion … 2
- Egg … 1
- Flour … ¼ cup
- Ginger … 4 – 6 slices
- Garlic … 3 coves
- Light soy sauce … 1 tablespoon
- Vinegar … 1 tablespoon
- Salt … 1 teaspoon
- My secret hot sauce … 1 – 2 tablespoons
- Sugar … 3 teaspoons
- MSG … ½ teaspoon (optional)
- Water starch
- Oil … 3 – 4 tablespoons
- Oil for deep-frying
We need to prepare the ingredients first:
1. Cut the eggplant along the middle into
2 halves. Then cut diagonally into 1inch long and ½cm thick slices.
2. Soak the Chinese mushrooms and fungus in hot water until they’re soft. Then finely mince.
3. Finely chop the green onion, and finely mince the ginger and garlic.
Now we prepare the eggplants:
4. In a bowl, mix the flour, egg, and 1/3 cup of water. Mix this well.
5. Coat the eggplant slices with the flour mixture, and deep-fry on medium-high heat until golden. (I always place a paper towel underneath to absorb excess oil.)
Finally, we make the sauce to pour on top:
6. Heat 3 – 4 tablespoons of oil to medium-high. Add in the ginger, garlic, hot sauce, minced Chinese mushrooms and fungus. Stir quickly.
7. Then add in 2/3 cups of water, salt, soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, MSG, and bring to a boil. Let it boil for 10 – 15 seconds.
8. Slowly add enough starch water to thicken the sauce. Then add in the green onions. Mix well.
9. Pour the sauce on top of the eggplant ‘fish’ and serve. (Of course remove the paper towel underneath.)