Berenjenas China Crown

China Crown used to be my favourite Chinese restaurant in Madrid. It´s good, unfussy, unexpensive, and did my favourite dish of aubergines in the whole world. I can´t remember what they were called, but they were hot and spicy and I loved them.
When they took them off the menu I stopped going. It´s a lovely restaurant, and I recommend it, but it´s way uptown, and what´s the point, without these aubergines?(Dim sum, actually. I really miss their dim sum. Will go soon)

I looked everywhere for a recipe, but couldn´t find anything that sounded exactly like it.
One day, last book fair, I bought a stack of cookbooks for the doubtful reason that they cost three euros.They didn´t look so good, and actually they really weren´t anything special. But. There was a recipe for Sechuan aubergine that looked quite similar. After some tweaking, I turned it into a very close approximation. You can imagine my happiness.

I´d always been a bit nervous of aubergines, having had a few disasters with them. But this recipe is foolproof, and entirely delicious.
The aubergines are chopped into chunky bite sized pices, and simmered with a sauce made of stock and a few condiments.
After twenty minutes, they turn smooth and silky, dark, slippery, so smooth they´re almost gooey, and dissappear in your mouth. Serve on a mound of the plainest steamed white rice, and enjoy the mix of the bland and the explosive.

The aubergines in the picture are some oriental ones I bought at the Mostenses market last week, but usually I do it with our
normal baloon shaped ones.

China Crown Aubergines

500gr. aubergines, cut in chunks
2 tbs. oil
2 cloves garlic, sliced
1 tbs. julienned ginger
4 spring onions, sliced
1 red chili, chopped
250 gr. minced pork

And for the sauce (which you mix first of all)
3 teaspoons garlic and black bean paste (original recipe calls for garlic chili paste but I´m a chili wimp)
2 tbs. sherry
2 tbs. soy sauce
1 teaspoon sugar
2 teaspoons vinegar ( I use sherry vinegar)
250 ml. stock (half a cube and water)
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil.

Heat a wok or a deep saucepan with a lid. Add the oil, and sautee the ginger,garlic, chili and spring onions. After a minute, add the meat, break up the chunks and let it lose the pink colour.
Add the aubergines, stirfry for a couple of minutes. Add the sauce, bring to the boil and then reduce the heat , cover, and leave to simmer for 20 or so.
When the aubergines are soft, you´re done.
I usually add a little cornstarch at the end to thicken the sauce.
Be careful with the salt, leave it for the end, because the stock and the black bean paste are very salty.

12 comentarios:

xps dijo...

a lo mejor las han vuelto a poner en el menu. vamonos mercedes hacia el este.........

Sam dijo...

Isn't 'aubergine' such a wonderful colour too? I always wanted a room with aubergine walls. Your picture is very charming!


LE BLOG dijo...

Qué elegantes berenjenas!

Anónimo dijo...

love the sound of this dish...gorgeous aubergine pics...in Australia everyone calls them eggplant...just doesn't do them justice

Raquel dijo...

Beautiful color!!!

I cook them a lot. They are a saver!

Anónimo dijo...

Eggplant Szechuan! Yes, oh so delicious!

christianne dijo...
Este comentario ha sido eliminado por un administrador del blog.
christianne dijo...

I agree, in the States we call them eggplant as well, but aubergine sounds so much prettier. The recipe sounds delicious! In Venice (California) there is an organic, healthy Chinese restaurant called Mao's Kitchen that serves chicken and eggplant in a sauce very similar to this one. Its my favorite item and I order it every time!

lobstersquad dijo...

Xps: ahi te quiero ver, caracol
Sam: aubergine colour is very elegant . I love it too. And thanks for the visit
Le Blog: son berenjenas anorexicas
Jules: I´m sorry, I just can´t call them eggplant. It sounds just silly to me. If I ever saw an egg looking like an aubergine I´d be very alarmed!
Guru: nice. totally agree
Julie:I wish they hadn´t taken them off the menu, so annoying.
Christianne: That restaurant sounds so good. Here we don´t have so much choice of Chinese restaurants, but things are picking up.

xps dijo...

pa caracoles, me temo que el viejo leon. que calor!!!!!!!!!!!

Annette Tan dijo...

Hello! Thanks for dropping by GreedyGoose. I wish I'd found your blog earlier. I love your illustrations!

Anónimo dijo...

I absolutely love the photo of the aubergine (so much prettier and interesting than eggplant - which I love also)!!
And I really like your illustrations.
I'll be reading you more.