So a little while ago I posted about being treated to a delicious Vietnamese meal by my beloved & having to run home & make delicious Vegan Prawn Toasts. (What- you DON'T remember? Well, go check out the post, those prawny toasts are a DELIGHT I tell you. )
Well, one of the things I actually ordered, and is something I always pretty much order every time I head to a Vietnamese place is a yummy Aubergine dish that's a bit like this one. *
*Side note- all the Vietnamese restaurants that I have been to are SUPER lovely if you say you're vegan. Not only are most of their veggie items easy to veganise, they already understand the concept due to having a much revered population of Buddhist monks who don't eat anything that contains animal products... You just have to ask!.
Anyway- I set out to replicate this much loved dish and have quite probably not made a recipe that is 100% authentic. But it IS delicious.
Super SUPER delicious!
A little sweet, a little salty and with a yummy tang that is incredibly more-ish to eat.
I specify vegan 'fish sauce' (Aka Nam Pla) in the recipe. I make a batch of this every few months using the recipe from my friend Nico over at Yumsome & keep it in the fridge, ready to use in all kinds of South-East Asian recipes...(Link here!) However, use a good, brewed soy sauce if you're in a rush & aren't inclined to make your own.
I'm not sure that grilling the eggplant until the outer is burnt & then scooping out the flesh is authentic, however it does give the aubergine a lovely smokey flavour that I really love & works beautifully with the sauce.
Serve this non-authentic, yet utterly delicious Vietnamese Inspired Aubergine (Eggplant!) recipe with some steamed Jasmine rice, some stir fried veggies and maybe my yummy 'Vegan' Prawn Toasts to start!
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Vietnamese Style Aubergine, Veganised!
For the Aubergine
- 2 medium Aubergines (Eggplants)
- 3-4 spring onions sliced diagonally into 2cm pieces
- 1 small Pointy red Pepper sliced
- 1 Tbs oil (such as sunflower oil)
For the Sauce
- 1 Tbs Vegan 'Fish' Sauce* or Soy sauce *see notes
- 1 clove garlic finely minced
- 1 inch fresh ginger grated
- 1 Tbs soft brown sugar
- 1 tsp white wine vinegar
- Prick the aubergines all over with a fork an put them under a hot grill. Keep turning them over until they are blackened on all sides and squishy in the middle
- In the meantime, make the sauce. Grate the ginger and finely chop the garlic. Mix it all together with the rest of the other ingredients.
- Taste the sauce and add more sugar, fish sauce or vinegar until it's the right side of tangy, salty and sweet. It will taste quite intense on it's own, don't panic!
- Once the aubergine is all soft, take it off the grill and let it sit for a few minutes. Cut open the aubergine & scoop out the now soft & smoky flesh and cut into soft strips.
- Now, heat a frying pan with the oil and gently saute the red pepper slices until soft.
- Add the spring onions & saute for 30 seconds or so until a little soft, then add the aubergine.
- Add the sauce & stir it in to the aubergine mix.
- Serve sprinkled with a few spring onion slices with some rice or as part of a yummy Vietnamese inspired fake-away feast!