Kwoklyn demonstrated this delicious recipe at BBC Good Food Show Summer 2023.
A classic Hakka dish that combines soft–textured aubergine with springy prawn paste, enveloped in a richly smooth oyster sauce.
350g raw king prawns, shelled and deveined
¼ tsp sugar
¼ tsp white pepper
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tbsp vegetable oil, plus 1 tbsp for frying
1 tsp Chinese rice wine or dry sherry
1 tsp cornflour
3 spring onions, chopped into small pieces
2 large aubergines
For the sauce
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp chicken powder
2 tbsp oyster sauce 1 tsp dark soy sauce
Pinch of white pepper, to taste
1 tbsp Chinese rice wine or dry sherry
5 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp cornflour mixed with 2 tbsp water to make a slurry
1 tsp sesame oil
- Put the prawns into a blender and pulse until you have a chunky paste – you don’t want to over-mince the prawns, as small pieces add a nice texture to the dish. Transfer to a large bowl and add the sugar, white pepper, ¼ tsp salt, sesame oil, vegetable oil, rice wine, egg, cornflour and half the spring onions. Mix well until you have an evenly distributed paste. Cover and chill for 30 mins.
- Cut the aubergines in half lengthwise and then slice into 2cm-thick half-moon shapes. Cut each aubergine half-moon in half again from the skin side , but not all the way through – you’re creating a cavity for your filling (think of an open clam shell). Using a teaspoon, carefully fill the aubergine cavities with prawn paste – you do want it to bulge out slightly.
- Once all the aubergine half-moons are filled, heat a non-stick wok over a medium heat. Add the extra vegetable oil and fry the aubergines, prawn-side down, until golden.
- While the prawn and aubergine is browning, combine all of the sauce ingredients (except for the garlic, sesame oil and cornflour slurry) and 350ml water together. Mix well.
- Now add the garlic to the wok and fry for 20 seconds until fragrant. Pour in the sauce around the aubergines. Turn the heat down to a low simmer and put a lid on top of the wok. Cook for 15 mins until the aubergine is tender.
- Carefully remove the cooked aubergine from the wok and arrange on a serving plate. Give the cornflour slurry a mix to loosen and slowly add to the sauce to thicken, stirring continuously. Switch off the heat and add the sesame oil. Pour the sauce over the stuffed aubergines and finish with the remaining spring onion.