Sichuan Aubergines with Ginger, Garlic and Chilli
- 1.2 kg aubergines about 4
- 100 ml vegetable oil
- 400 g udon noodles
- 4 spring onions trimmed and finely sliced
- 1 bunch fresh coriander leaves picked and roughly chopped
- 2 tsp cornflour
- 3 tbsp vegetable oil
- 2 tbsp Sichuan chilli bean paste
- 2 chillies large dried red chillies, crumbled
- 2 cm ginger peeled and finely chopped
- 3 cloves garlic finely chopped
- 250 ml stock chicken or vegetable
- 2 tbsp sherry dry
- 1 tbsp rice vinegar
- 2 tbsp soft brown sugar
Cut the aubergines into 1-2cm-thick rounds, then cut each round in half across the middle. Sprinkle with a little fine sea salt, put in a colander and leave to drain in the sink or on the draining board for at least 30 minutes, to draw out excess water.
Heat the oven to 220C/425F/gas mark 7. Tip the aubergines into a roasting tin, toss them in the oil and roast for 40-50 minutes, until temptingly golden on the outside and completely soft within.
Pour in the stock and cornflour paste, cook for a few minutes, until the sauce thickens, then add the rice wine, sugar and vinegar, and simmer for a few minutes, to give the flavours a chance to meld.
Meanwhile, cook the noodles according to the packet instructions, then transfer to warmed shallow bowls. Top with the aubergines and sauce, scatter on the spring onions and coriander, and serve.