Friday, April 13, 2012

Brinjal Barrels with Caramelized Mince - Katrika Week #3

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

500gm eggplants/brinjal/aubergine
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.


  1. Hello Wendy,

    I'm so happy seeing your this post. Really happy!! Because I love brinjal very very much..Nice shooting and also great recipe sharing..Thank you so much....big big clap for you Wendy!!! Sandy

  2. I like this dish too. Simple but look delicious and very nice presentations! How come your eggplant stays purple after steaming. I did that once and it turns brown. Is there a special way of steaming it?

  3. This looks very very yummy!! I love brinjal but never was clever cooking this fruit. Thanks for your idea.. i shall try it this weekend!!

  4. Mouthwatering dish, hope my girls will love this ...;)

  5. This is just delicious, drooling over it. And best of all, it looks simple enough for me to replicate :D

  6. What a brilliant idea to use the brinjal as the vessel for the minced meat.

    Yeah, would like to know how to keep the purple colour after steaming.

  7. Sandy,
    It's been so long since you last left me a note, I tot you went missing!
    I hope you'll enjoy this

    No special tips, just don't overcook it. :)

    Food so delicious,
    Brinjals are versatile and can be used in many ways, this whole week was about brinjals!

    If they are brinjal lovers, they will :)

    manyak sinang punya, boleh ka

    Poh Lin,
    Just don't overcook it. No special way or method, LOL.

  8. Nola Wendy, I still read your blog but sometimes really lazy to comment..haha..supporter behind you..hehe...Sandy

  9. Wow...anything with eggplant or brinjals...i love it.

  10. Loves your creaativity...They look so yummylicious..

  11. I love that last picture...oooooo you know I want to make this too...salivating adi LOL! I love aubergine!

  12. my kids do not appreciate brinjal, i seldom cook it..but your dish look super tempting and delicious!

  13. Thank you soooooooooo much!! You gv me another idea to cook tis dish! ;-)

  14. Looks like another winner and another must-try. You are keeping me busy!

  15. love brinjals and love your idea with this presentation!also looks kinda like flower pots..very inspiring..can put broccoli florets can turn into a plant sitting on a pot..hehe..

  16. Thanks for the lovely post as usual. I will definitely try this.

  17. Drooling! A healthy alternative to cooking brinjal, usually stir fry with sambal and dried shrimps which requires quite a lot of oil!

  18. Fabulous photos. They look so cute and very delicious.

  19. Hi Wendy, what do you do with the brinjal that's scooped out? Such a waste to throw them away. I steamed them and mashed them up in the minced meat.


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