No prizes for guessing what's in this one. But, although it's simple in its creation, this dish from the House of Ho is a light, zingy, summery treat – a perfect starter for this time of year. You can view the recipe below.
- 1 Japanese aubergine
- 2 shallots
- 460ml water
- 75ml vinegar
- 75ml chilli sauce
- 10g garlic
- 300ml Nuoc Cham sauce (recipe below)
- 10ml lime juice
- 75g sugar
- 1/8 cup chopped spring onions
The Noc Chuam sauce
- 1 tsp rice vinegar
- 3 tsp sugar
- 1 finger-length Thai chilli, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice
- 2 tbsp fish sauce
- To make the Noc Chuam sauce mix the vinegar, sugar, and 60ml water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil and set aside to cool. Once cool, combine the chili, garlic and lime juice. Mix well and stir in the fish sauce.
- Pierce the Japanese aubergine with a fork all over (roughly 10 times). On a hot fire, place the aubergines directly onto the flame and scorch until the skin is black. Rotate to make sure all sides are equally charred. Slice in half and let cool. The flesh inside should be soft to the touch.
- While the aubergine is cooling, make the scallion vinaigrette. On a low heat, mix the water and sugar. Once the sugar has dissolved, remove from the heat and cool.
- Add the vinegar, chili sauce, garlic, Noc Chuam sauce and lime juice, and whisk well. Reheat the scallion vinaigrette and blanche the chopped green parts of the scallions (until they become soft).
- Slice shallots and fry in oil. Remove when they turn light brown as they will continue to cook from the residual heat. Save the shallot oil.
- Cut off the ends of the aubergine. Butterfly the aubergine by cutting it horizontally down the length. Using a spoon, slide it across the length of the aubergine and gently separate the skin from the aubergine meat, and cut across, making bite sized pieces.
- Season with salt and pepper and top off with the cooked scallions from the scallion vinaigrette. Drizzle aubergine with shallot oil and garnish with the crispy fried shallots.
By Bobby Chinn, executive chef, House of Ho; houseofho.com