Chefs' Recipes

Brent Savage's coal-roasted eggplant with black garlic

A smoky, textural, all-eggplant affair.

By Brent Savage
  • 30 mins preparation
  • 30 mins cooking (plus drying, infusing, cooling, marinating)
  • Serves 6
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Coal-roasted eggplant with black garlic
"We created this dish in the early days after Yellow converted to a fully plant-based menu," says Brent Savage. "The thinking behind it was to create an alternative dish to pork belly, using eggplant." This dish has been simplified slightly from the original for home cooks.


  • 3 eggplant (about 260gm each), halved lengthways
  • 2 tsp vegetable oil
  • Sliced black garlic (see note), to serve
Eggplant sauce
  • 1½ tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 long green chilli, seeds removed, finely sliced
  • 1 long red chilli, seeds removed, finely sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
  • 15 gm ginger (abut 3cm), coarsely chopped
  • 60 ml (¼ cup) red wine vinegar
  • 25 gm caster sugar
  • 125 ml (½ cup) white soy sauce (see note)
Black garlic seasoning
  • 1 tsp (firmly packed) dried black garlic skins (from 1 bulb; see note)
  • ⅔ tsp horseradish powder (see note)
  • ⅓ tsp almond meal
Roasted almond purée
  • 100 gm crustless sourdough bread
  • 150 gm blanched almonds, roasted
  • 250 ml (1 cup) vegetable oil
  • 25 ml lemon juice
Almond dukkah
  • 1½ tbsp coriander seeds
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • ½ tsp crushed black pepper
  • ¼ tsp chilli flakes
  • 100 gm blanched almonds, roasted, coarsely chopped


  • 1
    For eggplant sauce, bring ingredients and 250ml water to the boil over high heat in a saucepan, then reduce heat to low until sauce reaches 75°C (10 minutes). Set aside to infuse (2 hours). Strain through a fine sieve and top up with water to make 350ml. Cool. 30 minutes before steaming, marinate eggplant in 100ml sauce in a deep tray, turning occasionally.
  • 2
    Meanwhile, for black garlic seasoning, combine ingredients with a pinch of salt and grind with a mortar and pestle to a fine powder.
  • 3
    For purée, add bread and 250ml water to a blender and leave to soak (1 minute). Add almonds and blend until smooth. With motor running, add oil in a thin, steady stream until mixture is thick. Season with lemon juice and 1 tsp salt, adding extra water if needed. Cover and set aside.
  • 4
    For dukkah, dry-roast spices in a frying pan over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until fragrant (2 minutes). Coarsely grind with a mortar and pestle, then combine with remaining ingredients and ½ tsp salt.
  • 5
    Preheat a charcoal barbecue to medium-high and preheat a steamer over high heat. Steam eggplant in a steamer basket until almost tender (10 minutes). Transfer to barbecue and grill, cut-side down, until tender and lightly charred (4-6 minutes).
  • 6
    To serve, warm remaining sauce over low heat in a small saucepan. Spoon almond purée over eggplant and top with dukkah. Pour sauce around, sprinkle with black garlic seasoning and top with sliced black garlic.


Black garlic and horseradish powder are available from The Essential Ingredient. White soy sauce (shiro shoyu) is available from select Japanese supermarkets. Dry garlic skins in a low oven for 2-3 hours or leave in a warm place to dry over a few days. Alternatively, use a dehydrator.