Spicy Korean Aubergines with Asian Slaw and Rice
Gochujang is one of those magic ingredients that adds a tonne of flavour really quickly and simply - its a traditional Korean cooking paste made with fermented red peppers and really adds a punch to this veggie dish. You can easily make this vegan too, by leaving out the honey.
Preparation time: 30 minutes
· 1 large aubergine or 2 small/medium aubergines
· 2 spring onions
· 1 large clove garlic
· 1 heaped tbsp Gochujang paste
· 2 tsps honey (optional)
· 1 tbsp sesame seeds
Slaw and rice
· ½ small red cabbage or 1/4 of a larger cabbage
· 1 carrot
· 1 red chilli
· 2 tbsps rice wine vinegar
· 2 tbsps sesame oil
· 150g Jasmine rice
· 300-400ml water
· 1 tsp sugar
Add 300ml water and a pinch of salt to the saucepan, add the lid and bring to the boil. Once it has reached boiling point stir in the jasmine rice, lower the heat to medium and pop the lid back on the pan. Leave it to cook for 10 minutes, then remove the pan from the heat (still with the lid on) and leave to finish cooking in the steam for another 10 minutes or so.
Meanwhile, make the slaw. Finely shred the cabbage discarding the tough core and outer leaves, then peel and coarsely grate the carrot and add both to a large bowl. Cut the chilli in half lengthways, scrape out the seeds with a teaspoon and then dice finely (or leave the seeds in if you like more heat!) In a small bowl whisk together the sesame oil, rice wine vinegar, diced chilli, a pinch of salt and sugar to taste. Pour the chilli dressing over the slaw, mix to combine and leave to one side while you make the rest.
Preheat a large frying pan or wok with a splash of oil over a medium-high heat. Cut the aubergine into medium cubes and add to the pan, cook for 5-6 minutes until browned, moving the pieces around regularly.
Meanwhile finely slice the spring onions – keep some of the green part to one side for garnishing your dish later. Crush the garlic using a garlic crusher, or you can finely chop it.
Once the aubergines are browned add a splash of water to the pan and cook for another 2-3 minutes until all the pieces are softened and translucent – the water helps them soften in the steam so add more if needed.
Add the sliced spring onion (keeping some of the green back for garnish) and crushed garlic to the aubergine pan and cook for another 2 minutes until fragrant and softened. Add the honey if using and gochujang paste, mixing well, and cook for a further 1-2 minutes.
Fluff up the rice and pile onto the plates, top with the aubergines and sprinkle with the reserved green spring onion and sesame seeds. Serve the slaw alongside.