Eggplant Szechuan styleQ: Would you be able to give me some recipes on vegetables and fruits that will stimulate my taste buds and introduce me to a new combination of taste?
A: take a look at our blog out for some interesting recipe ideas for doing various vegetarian dishes, i have also included a recipe that we had in our individual this week and it was a firm favourite, Once you find a veg dish you like start experimenting with it – try different vegetables, try a mix of vegetables. What will also work well is find a good thai curry recipe and instead of using chicken replace it with a mix of your favourite Vegetables.

This dish is extremely versatile and the cooking technique can be used for any seasonal vegetables. For a more complex dish, add a bit of green and red capsicum and sliced onion. The dish can be served hot or cold.

500g eggplant, preferably long thin ones
3 cups oil for deep frying

3 cloves garlic, minced
2cm young ginger, minced
6 spring onions, sliced to 1cm
1T chilli oil

¼ cup hot bean paste
2T light soy sauce
2T dark soy sauce
2T Chinese rice wine
¼ cup rice wine vinegar
¼ cup crushed yellow rock sugar

½t Szechuan peppercorns, roasted and ground

  1. Top and tail the eggplants and cut in half lengthwise (if using more bulbous eggplants, cut in quarters or eighths lengthwise).
  2. Heat the oil in a wok until just smoking, and fry the eggplants in batches until golden. Draining on paper towel, once cooked.
  3. Drain most of the oil, keeping back about a ¼ cup. Heat the oil again until smoking, add the garlic, ginger, spring onions and chilli oil and fry until fragrant.
  4. Add the bean paste, soy sauces, rice wine, vinegar and sugar. Bring to the boil and boil for two minutes.
  5. Add the eggplant and cook for a further 2 minutes, mashing slightly so that they absorb the flavours of the sauce.
  6. Transfer to a serving platter and garnish with the ground peppercorns.

Serves 4 to 6

Wickedfood Cooking School

Sunninghill – (011)

Wickedfood cooking school runs cooking classes throughout the year at its purpose-built Johannesburg cooking studios. Cookery classes are run in the mornings and evenings 7 days a week (subject to a minimum of 12 people). The venue is also popular for corporate events and private functions – team building cooking classes, birthdays, kitchen teas, and dinner parties with a difference.

Our cooking lessons are hands-on, where every person gets to participate in the preparation of the dishes. They are also a lot of fun where you not only learn new skills, but get to meet people with similar interests. For corporate groups and teambuilding cooking classes these events are a novel way of creating staff interaction or entertaining clients.