Since discovering proper ‘home-style’ Chinese food a few years ago I’ve been ever so slightly obsessed with fish fragrant aubergine. I can’t remember why the dish first appealed to me – it was probably because aubergine is one of my most favourite things in the world and also because it was listed with a big fat chilli symbol on the menu.
Whatever it was, I hope I wasn’t looking forward to a seafood dish! Coz, despite the name, there ain’t no fish in this dish. But there is pork. Quite a lot of pork actually. Which is quite funny coz I’ve seen this dish listed in the vegetarian section of at least one Chinese menu.
Anyhoo, apparently the name is the literal translation of yuxiang qiezi which refers to the preparation of the dish – one that is usually associated with fish in Sichuan Chinese cuisine.
But, putting the rather misleading name to one side, I have to say that this is probably one of my most favourite dishes… ever! It’s hot. It’s salty. It’s sour. It’s unami on a plate and I bloody love it.
Which is why I’m especially pleased that Gav likes to cook it. He uses this Ching-He Huang recipe which is relatively easy to follow and free of any stupidly difficult to find ingredients (even Tesco has chilli bean sauce now). You should give it a go too.