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http://www.lifestylefood.com.au/recipes/102/sichuan-bugs-with-asparagus-and-eggplant-salad

LifeStyleFOOD.com.au

Second chef at Pearl, Nick Holloway presents this delicious entree.

Ingredients

  • 4 medium-large reef bugs

  • 10 asparagus tips

  • 1 cup eggplant salad

  • 14 tat soi leaves

  • 6 basil leaves

  • 10 coriander leaves

  • extra virgin olive oil

  • basil oil

  • 0.25 lime juice of

  • sichuan salt

  • black pepper

  • eggplant salad

  • Eggplant Salad

  • 2 eggplants

  • sea salt

  • 1 teaspoon peanut oil

  • 2 finely chopped spring onions

  • 1 knob ginger minced

  • 2 garlic cloves minced

  • 1 long red chilli shredded

  • 40 ml yellow bean paste

  • 30 ml shao xing cooking wine

  • 30 ml rice wine vinegar

  • 2 tablespoons yellow rock sugar

  • Basil oil

  • 2 bunches basil

  • 0.5 bunch parsley

  • 200 ml extra virgin olive oil

Method

  • 1.

    Prise the flesh from the reef bugs and season well with Sichuan salt.

  • 2.

    Lightly oil the bug meat and seal in a very hot pan until deliciously golden and allow to rest.

  • 3.

    Blanch and refresh asparagus then combine in a bowl with the bugs, leaves and eggplant salad.

  • 4.

    Dress lightly with extra virgin olive oil and lime juice.

  • Eggplant Salad:

  • 1.

    Cut the eggplants into medium-sized cubes and sprinkle with sea salt.

  • 2.

    Leave for one hour then rinse and pat dry.

  • 3.

    Steam for 30 minutes or until soft in a Chinese steamer orother suitable device.

  • 4.

    Heat a wok until smoking.

  • 5.

    Add oil and again heat until smoking then add spring onions, ginger, garlic and chilli and fry until caramelised and fragrant.

  • 6.

    Add the remaining ingredients and reduce by half.

  • 7.

    Transfer dressing to a bowl and combine with steamed eggplants.

  • Basil oil:

  • 1.

    Quickly blanch and refresh herbs then puree with oil until fine.

  • 2.

    Leave to steep for a few hours then strain through ultra-fine filter paper.

  • Sichuan Salt:

  • 1.

    Roast peppercorns in a wok then combine one part Sichuan peppercorns to four parts sea and pound.

  • To Serve:

  • 1.

    Season with black pepper and divide between the plates.

  • 2.

    Finish with a small splash of basil oil.

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