Crisp Eggplant with Fish Fragrant Sauce

After trying this recipe from Victor Liong, I felt like I was Heston Blumenthal. Crisp Eggplant with Fish Fragrant Sauce is a dish created by Victor Liong made with crispy fried eggplant in a sweet, tangy and sticky sauce topped with fresh herbs and chillies


Several weeks ago, I got handed over pantry items by a close friend of mine. Pantry items that they either used once or forgotten and never used at all, most have a year or less of shelf life left and they thought I got better ideas on using it compared to them hence it was given to me. A lot of the items given to me were different types of flour that I never used, there are also items such as Xanthan Gum which I never had tried cooking with at all so it was a challenge on how would I use them.

I never searched online on how to use the specific ingredients but for some reason when I was searching for some vegetable dishes I saw this Crisp Eggplant with Fish Fragrant Sauce recipe created by Victor Liong. That recipe contained most of the ingredients that were handed over to me, items like tapioca flour, rice flour and xanthan gum. Most of the sauce ingredients I also have it on my pantry so all that is left to buy are the eggplants.

To be honest Fish Fragrant Sauce is nothing new, in fact this is a popular Sichuan sauce does not contain fish or fish products as all, instead it is used primarily with Sichuan fish dishes, hence the name. I can understand why, the sweet, sour, and spicy elements are perfect with any seafood. I even had prepared a couple of dishes before with this sauce, first was the Sichuan Spicy Eggplant and Salted Fish and another one was the Fish Flavoured Shredded Pork, both were inspired by restaurant orders like Victor Liong who got the inspiration from Dainty Sichuan in Melbourne. Although it is a common sauce, Victor Liong version is much more refined, more intense, even how the eggplants was made crispy was something I haven’t tried before, it’s like chemistry and culinary arts in action together. The result was a very great dish, good crispiness with exceptional flavours.

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Crisp Eggplant with Fish Fragrant Sauce

  • Author: Raymund
  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 45 mins
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 4
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Cuisine: Chinese

Description

Crisp Eggplant with Fish Fragrant Sauce is a dish created by Victor Liong made with crispy fried eggplant in a sweet, tangy and sticky sauce topped with fresh herbs and chillies



Ingredients

Units Scale

Eggplants

  • 6 pcs Japanese eggplants, peeled and baton sliced
  • oil, for deep frying

Garnishes

  • 2 long red chillies, thinly sliced
  • 2 spring onions, sliced
  • fried shallots
  • chopped coriander

Sauce

Batter



Instructions

  1. In a saucepan over medium low heat combine water, sugar and honey together, whisk while cooking until sugar completely dissolves.
  2. Bring heat to high then let it boil, let it boil for a couple of minutes then add the remaining sauce ingredients, bring back to a boil then lower heat to medium, simmer for 30 to 40 minutes until the sauce becomes caramel like in consistency. Remove from heat then set it aside.
  3. Prepare the batter, in a large bowl mix together xanthan gum and water, using a hand blender whisk it until thick in consistency. Gently add remaining ingredients and continue to mix until you have a smooth batter.
  4. Fill a large wok or deep fryer with oil then heat it to 180C. Dip eggplant slices into the batter then gently place them into the fryer one at a time.
  5. Deep fry in small batches for 5 minutes, in the first 3 minutes of frying try not to move them around and just leave it, once the outer layer has hardened you can separate eggplants that are stuck together. Remove from deep fryer then set it aside on a paper towel line plate.
  6. Place fried eggplants on a serving platter, generously drizzle sauce on top, making sure every eggplant is coated. Top it with all of the garnishing.

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7 Responses

  1. Gorgeous dish! I’ve had fish fragrant eggplant many times before at Sichuan restaurants, but never that I can remember where the eggplant had been battered and fried until crispy. What an intriguing idea! Sure looks delicious.

  2. I love the sauce and would use it for fish and meat too. The eggplant looks mouthwatering!

  3. What a fun challenge to figure out how to use some less common pantry items! I do really love eggplant, but I’m not sure I’ve ever had it in a crispy form. This sounds fantastic, Raymund!

  4. Absolutely beautiful, Raymund. I’ve never used Xanthan gum, but know that it is used in a lot of gluten free flour mixes. I’ve never been tempted to buy it for those purposes, but this recipe will have me searching for it!

  5. Hannah says:

    Such a classic dish, I absolutely love this one! It’s hard to find good examples in local restaurants though, so I’d love to give it a try myself. That recipe looks like a keeper.

  6. What a neat dish! Eggplant is so nice, and this is such an interesting and tasty way to prepare it. Just terrific — thanks.

  7. suituapui says:

    My girl would love this – she loves eggplant!

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