Tag Archives : eggplant


Stir-fried Eggplant with Thai Basil, Chilli Bean and Garlic 1

eggplant with thai basil and chilli bean sauce

This is one of those incredibly easy Thai dishes to make. It’s one of those dishes I make when I basically can’t be bothered. The original version uses yellow bean sauce but since I’m so in love with the Chinese chilli bean sauce, I used that here.  It’s also easy to omit the oyster sauce and turn it into a vegetarian dish. Serve with rice. I have never tried substituting this recipe with other types of basil but I can’t imagine they will work.

  1. 1 eggplant, cut into 3cm  cubes
  2. 3 tbsp of vegetable oil
  3. 3 cloves of garlic, chopped
  4. 1 red chilli, sliced
  5. 1 green chilli, sliced
  6. 4 stems of Thai basil, leaves picked
  7. 1 tbsp of oyster sauce
  8. 1 tbsp of chilli bean sauce
  9. 1 tsp of tomato ketchup*

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Heat up the oil until hot, add the eggplant pieces and stir-fried quickly. Turn the heat down slightly and keep frying until the eggplant is browned, soft and silky. Add a little of water if it becomes too dry. This takes about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and chilli and stir for a minute or so. Add the sauces and a bit of water if necessary. Add the basil leaves and turn off the heat.

* I use tomato sauce instead of sugar to round off the flavours in stronger-flavoured dishes. The tomato won’t come through, neither will the sweetness but you’ll taste the difference.


Breakfast Bruschetta 1

I’m really tired and lazy tonight, so I give you one of my breakfast inventions while I was in Singapore:

breakfast brushetta

The Breakfast Bruschetta!

First of all, I have an issue with people correcting my pronunciation. I may not be Italian, but we’re talking about food here. So believe me. I know. And it’s broo-skeh-ta. So please, dear twenty-one-year-old-uni-student-slash-actor-slash-waiter-at-the-pub, do not try to correct me with broo-chet-ta non-sense.

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What it is, really, is just toast topped with veggies sauteed in a bit of pasta sauce. I was just trying to make it sound posher than it is 😛

For 4 pieces of toast:

  1. 4 pieces of toast, obviously. I recommend GOOD crusty bread.
  2. 4 slices of cheese (I just use Colby because it’s always in the fridge)
  3. 2 cups of sliced zucchini, red capsicum, eggplant,
  4. 1 tablespoon of pinenuts
  5. 2 tablespoons of Leggo’s Stir-Through pasta sauce – Tomato, Olive and Chilli

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This recipe dates back to my time in Singapore when my then-housemate used had a little toaster oven.  I would toast the bread slices topped with cheese so that the cheese was nice and melted. I haven’t tried to replicate this back in Melbourne where I am toaster ovenless. Nevertheless, I’m sure you’ll figure something out.

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So toast the pinenuts in a non-stick frying pan on medium heat until browned. Keep moving the nuts, they toast really fast if you’re not careful and the last thing you want in the morning in burnt bits of pine nuts to set off the smoke alarm. Set the toasted pine nuts aside. Drizzle a bit of olive oil and add in the veggies. Keep moving them around the pan until they colour nicely. Add the pasta sauce and stir around for another two minutes or so. Sprinkle in the toasted pinenuts In the pictures, I added some spring onions but this isn’t necessary at all. I think I must have just had them lying around.

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Chuck the veggies on the toasts.Gobble. Run for the train. Miss the train. Be late for work. C’est la vie.


Lamb and Grilled Vegetable Salad

This is also known as What To Do When You Have Leftover Roast Lamb.

lamb and grilled veggies salad

There are four main ingredients in this salad: salad leaves, lamb, grilled veggies and dressing. We already have the lamb of course. This is inspired by a recipe in this month’s Delicious. (what’s with the full stop at the end of its name?) by Tobie Puttock but as usual I went off on my own tangent.

mixed salad leaves

I bought the salad leaves from the market – this is the mixed salad leaves (including three-four different lettuce, radicchio and rocket leaves) and I threw in some fresh flat leaf parsley. Some fresh basil would have been really nice but, well, didn’t have any.

For the grilled veggies, I use zucchini, red capsicum and eggplant. I made up some rosemary oil (olive oil, rosemary, salt and pepper crushed together in a shaker) to brush on them before grilling them.

rosemary oil

Brush the veggie slices with the rosemary oil before grilling:

brushing the veggies with the rosemary oil before grilling

Grill the veggies in a sandwich presser (you can easily just pan fry though) – I also add two garlic cloves to the grill for the dressing later:

grilling veggies

Where are we with the salad? Oh, the grilled veggies. Toss them on the salad mix.

grilled veggies and salad

And on goes the lamb:

naked lamb and grilled veggies salad

And then the dressing. These are what I used for the dressing:

  1. 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  2. juice of half a lemon
  3. salt & pepper
  4. 2 cloves of roasted garlic (made at the same time as the grilled veggies)
  5. 1 tsp rosemary leaves (fresh)
  6. pinch of sugar

Bung on the dressing and serve with some bread. I have some sundried tomato foccacia – which was kinda average (as average as supermarket foccacia goes) but good enough since I didn’t buy it.

And there you have it – leftover roast lamb salad for two. Josh approves.

lamb and grilled veggie salad and sundried tomato foccacia for two


Toasted Sandwich with Char-grilled Veggies, Pesto and Rocket 3

I don’t know if I ever mentioned that I’m on a low protein diet due to a health condition so there’s not a lot of meat in my cooking.

Last time I talked about the char-grilled veggies which could be used in infinite number of dishes such as salads, pasta, sandwiches etc. I’m showing you my favourite toasted sandwich recipe.

We start with a loaf of foccacia or Turkish bread (or a part of a loaf if you have a big loaf!) and slice it in two halves. Spread a layer of coriander pesto I bought at a nice deli in Tanglin Mall. I’m sure it’s imported from Australia because it tastes just like the coriander pesto I used to buy in Melbourne. I’m not a big fan of jarred pesto from the supermarket. Pesto is basically an Italian creation – it’s a paste made from mashed Italian basil, pine nuts, garlic, parmesan and olive oil. I’ve seen people getting creative and made pesto from rocket leaves, red capsicum but I can’t be sure if you’re allowed to call them pesto. I suppose the same way I wonder whether a pesto made from coriander leaves (also known as cilantro) is supposed to be called pesto. But I digress. Let’s just suffice to say that this variety of coriander pesto is my favourite.

So top the pesto-ed bread slice with layers of the grilled veggies – 2-3 slices of grilled capsicum, zucchini and egpplant each and scatter around the grilled mushrooms and semi-dried tomatoes (also bought from the same deli – another suspect ingredient of being an Australian thing but I can’t be sure). On the other slice, scatter some rocket leaves and shaved parmesan (the reason I use parmesan is because I don’t have anything else but the ideal choice of cheese would be ricotta but that’s a personal preference) and squish the two sides together and toast them in a hot toaster oven for about two minutes (this depends how hot your toaster oven is). If you have a sandwich presser, that will be so much better. If you just have a toaster, then just toast your bread first lah!

Serve with a side mixed salad and suddenly you have a cafe quality gourmet sandwich, dahhling!

Told you them grilled veggies are nice and easy and impressive.

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