Dish prepared on 6/4/2012
I invented this dish when I was still teaching in Selancar, Pahang. My room mate and I could only cook whatever we could buy at the settlement's market with very limited choices, cabbages, amaranth, water convolvulus, Indian Mustard and beansprouts being the norm of leafy vege. Cucumber and brinjal are the everyday item at the market for fruit vege. Luckily I love eggplant/aubergine/brinjal and am always on the quest to find new methods to cook the purple thingy.
Deep frying will give it a beautiful flavour, but it's a bit wasteful with the oil. So, I had to think of a healthier and economical way to cook it. When I first made this, I boiled the eggplants whole, segmented them later and stuffed them sideways with caramelized chicken breast to boost the flavour, like the regular Yongtofu except that the meat is precooked and caramelized. And I made them many times this way during my stay in the oil palm settlement. My room mate, Mee Foong enjoyed this a lot.
6 years and I never made it again until recently.
This time, I came up with the idea of making them upright like a barrel. Of which is better for presentation, and keeps the mince in place
Brinjal Barrels with Caramelized Mince
Recipe source: WendyinKK
250gm minced pork/chicken breast
3 shallots, finely minced
2 clove garlic, finely minced
2 Tbsp light soy sauce
1.5 Tbsp sugar
1/3 tsp salt (or more)
Dash of pepper
¾ tsp cornstarch + 3 Tbsp water
Coriander for garnish
1. Cut egg plants into 1.5 inch sections. With a melon baller, scoop out flesh to form a cavity. Steam on high heat for 10 minutes until soft but not mushy.
2. In a wok/pan, put in 3 Tbsp of oil and sauté shallots and garlic until almost golden.
3. Put in minced pork/chicken and sauté until all the juices are no longer visible.
4. Put in sugar, soy sauce, salt and pepper and cook until pork/chicken is fragrant and dry and looks caramelized.
5. Put in cornstarch mixture and cook until there is no visible liquid (not too dry)
6. Fill steamed eggplants with the caramelized minced meat and top with coriander as garnish.