Eggplant season is in full swing right now, so make the most of it. Adjust the fish sauce and tamarind to suit your taste.
- 1 large eggplant, diced
- 2 tbsp cornflour
- 150 mL vegetable oil
- 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 2 golden shallots, thinly sliced
- 2 long red chillies, seeds removed, finely chopped
- 50 gm palm sugar, crushed
- 60 ml fish sauce (¼ cup)
- 2 tbsp tamarind extract
- To serve: torn coriander and lime wedges, steamed jasmine rice
- 1Dust eggplant in cornflour and set aside. Heat oil in a wok over high heat, then stir-fry garlic until golden and crisp (2-4 minutes). Transfer with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain. Repeat with shallot.
- 2Remove half the oil from the wok and reserve. Add half the eggplant to wok and stir-fry until oil is absorbed and eggplant is golden (2-4 minutes; be careful, hot oil will spit). Set aside. Repeat with reserved oil and eggplant.
- 3Remove any remaining oil from wok, add chilli and stir-fry until it starts to change colour and become tender (1-2 minutes), then add palm sugar, fish sauce and tamarind extract, and bring to a simmer, stirring to dissolve sugar. Return eggplant to pan, toss to combine and transfer to a plate. Scatter with fried garlic and shallot, and coriander, and serve with lime wedges and steamed rice.
Note To make tamarind extract, soak 80gm tamarind pulp in 125ml boiling water in a bowl for 5 minutes, then mix to form a paste, strain and discard solids.
Drink Suggestion: Vibrant young grenache Drink suggestion by Max Allen