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


  • 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


  • 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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