kake: The word "菜單" (Chinese for "menu") in various shades of purple. (菜單)
[personal profile] kake
A white ceramic mortar with ridged, sloping sides and a brown border around the top.  The bowl is half-filled with a puree of steamed peeled aubergine, in which rests a smooth wooden pestle.  A few large slices of grilled green pepper are also visible.

As I mentioned yesterday in my post on 茄子 (qié zi), aubergine/eggplant is my favourite vegetable. I love it baked, fried, barbecued, steamed, stewed, curried, puréed, whatever. I particularly love it in the form of baba ganoush, a Middle-Eastern dish where the aubergine is roasted until the skin blackens, then peeled and mashed with tahini, garlic, lemon juice, and salt.

Given this, I was highly intrigued by the dish pictured above, which I ate at Golden Day in London's Chinatown. It's roughly-speaking a Chinese version of the same thing — 擂蒸茄子 (lēi zhēng qié zi), or steamed, peeled aubergine mashed up with various flavourings in a large pestle and mortar. 擂 (lēi) is the only character here that I haven't posted about before; it means "grind" or "pound". 蒸 (zhēng) means "steamed", while 茄子 (qié zi) means "aubergine".

I don't have a recipe for the specific dish we tried at Golden Day, but I can recommend Viet World Kitchen's recipe for spicy Hmong eggplant, which is reasonably similar and very tasty. Moreover, it's not only vegetarian but also vegan, which fits in nicely with the fact that today is World Vegetarian Day.

And with that, I sign off for a month. As I said previously, I'll still be around reading and commenting on other people's blogs, and I'm always available at kake@earth.li if you have any questions, comments, dinner invitations, or desire to hang out with me in the pub — but my next post here will be on 1 November.

If you have any questions or corrections, please leave a comment (here's how) and let me know (or email me at kake@earth.li). See my introductory post to the Chinese menu project for what these posts are all about.


December 2012


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