In all the cookbooks I consulted for this dish, I never found one that had fish or even fish sauce in its ingredients. So it's a mystery to me why this is described as 'fish flavoured'. Maybe someone out there knows the history? I think I read something in Deh Ta-Shiung's book on the explanation but I couldn't remember what it was.
The original recipe I adapted from the Chinese Cuisine by Huang Su-Huei requires deep frying the aubergines (eggplants). Since I know aubergines are notorious suckers of oil (they're like sponge), I decided to pan fry it in a teflon pan and drizzled with a little oil. You get the same flavour but with less oil.
500 g aubergine (eggplant) - sliced into 1/2-inch strips about 2-inches long
oil for frying
100 g ground pork or beef
1 tsp hot bean paste
2 Tbsp chopped green onion
1 Tbsp minced ginger root
1 Tbsp minced garlic
1 1/2 Tbsp soy sauce
3/4 cup stock
1/2 Tbsp sugar
1/2 Tbsp vinegar
1/2 tsp cooking wine
1/2 Tbsp cornstarch
1 Tbsp water
- Combine the cornstarch and water, mix well. Set aside.
- Mix the soy sauce, stock, sugar, vinegar, and cooking wine in another container. Set aside.
- Put the aubergines in a non-stick pan and drizzle a little to pan-fry until soft and cooked. Do this in batches. Set aside.
- In a wok, heat about 1 Tbsp oil until smoking hot. Stir fry the minced pork until it changes colour (about 3 minutes).
- Add in the hot bean paste, stir to mix.
- Then add the chopped green onion, garlic, and ginger. Stir fry until aromatic.
- Stir in the fried aubergines.
- Add the soy sauce mixture and cook for 1 minute.
- Thicken sauce by adding in the cornstarch mixture. Bring to boil and stir. Dish up and serve.