Dandelion: Hmong spicy eggplant mash

AT A GLANCE

  • Serves 6 people

  • For shallow-frying and deep-frying: vegetable oil
  • 8 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 2 large eggplant (about 500gm each)
  • 4 red birdseye chillies, coarsely chopped
  • 4 spring onion bulbs, coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup (loosely packed) coriander, coarsely chopped, plus extra leaves to serve
  • 4-5 pieces black sesame rice paper (see note)
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
01   Heat vegetable oil to 160C in a wok or saucepan over medium-high heat, add garlic and stir frequently until golden (1-3 minutes), remove garlic and drain on absorbent paper.
02   Cook eggplants, weighted with a plate, in 2 large saucepans of boiling water over high heat until tender (15-20 minutes). Remove eggplant, then, when cool enough to handle, peel, then drain in a colander (discard skin and water).
03   Pound chilli and ¾ tsp sea salt in a mortar and pestle, add spring onion and coriander and pound to a coarse paste. Add eggplant and crush it into the paste with a circular motion (you can do this in batches; alternatively, you can use a food processor), then season to taste. Makes 2½ cups.
04   Heat vegetable oil in a deep-fryer to 180C and deep-fry rice paper in batches until puffed and crisp (1-2 minutes; be careful as hot oil will spit). Drain well on absorbent paper and serve with Hmong spicy eggplant mash drizzled with sesame oil and scattered with fried garlic and coriander leaves.
Note Black sesame rice paper is available from Vietnamese grocers. If unavailable, substitute plain dried rice paper or prawn crackers.

This recipe is from the September 2011 issue of Australian Gourmet Traveller.

Recipe:

GEOFF LINDSAY, DANDELION, MELBOURNE

Photography:

SHARYN CAIRNS

Styling:

LISA FEATHERBY

Drinking Suggestion:

BEERLAO LAGER , suggested by GRANT VAN EVERY

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