Steamed eggplant in chilli sauce, I guess the name has descriptively explained itself. What’s exactly in this tasty Sichuan dish? Yes! Steamed eggplant & chilli sauce! On the other hand, it’s Chinese name “擂椒茄子” has told the exact methodology behind this modern classic. “擂” (lei) is the mould which is used for making this super spicy chilli sauce. (By the way, I broke my mould while pounding these “evil” chilis & garlic, so I had to switch to a blender in my cooking video.)
For some reason, I never liked eggplant when I was growing up. It’s probably because of the extraordinary dark purple colour & the tasteless sometimes even hard & chewy fruit. The only exception is when they are properly steamed. The colour fades out after steaming and the fruit becomes soft & tender.
The magic of this dish is on its hot chilli sauce. Fresh & colourful chilis mashed up with lots of garlic & coriander. It somehow reminds me of the dressing from Thai papaya salad. I will have to google it after finish writing this post, but I guess Thailand isn’t very far away from Sichuan province anyway. There must be some kind of connections there. (It’s simply my wild guess.)
This recipe is actually a request from a loving audience in Sweden. He saw a video from one of the big YouTube food bloggers (The Food Ranger). The funny thing is I have never heard of it before. My mum always makes her steamed eggplants in a regular sour garlic salad dressing. So after doing a bit of research & testing, I was able to recreate the same dish from the exact video. So if you know a better recipe for this dish, please leave your comments below or on YT or send me a message on FB or email me.