If your looking to impress your guests at your next dinner party, this recipe is a must try. 


  • 3 eggplants

  • Sea salt

  • Vegetable oil

  • 1 tablespoon black sesame seeds (lightly toasted and gently crushed)

  • 1 tablespoon white sesame seeds (lightly toasted and gently crushed)

  • ½ bunch shiso

  • 2 or 3 black radishes (sliced thinly on a mandolin)

  • Some nori sheets

  • ½ cup light soy

  • ½ cup rice vinegar

  • 2 tablespoons white sugar

  • 1 cup of goats curd

  • ½ cup Smoking chips

  • Katsuobushi (dried bonito flakes, any good Asian grocer stocks these)


  • Smoked goats curd:

  • 1.

    In the restaurant we have a smoker but at home you could use a Webber or a Chinese steamer. Line a steamer basket with cheese cloth and add the goats curd. Place the smoking chips on a layer of foil in a saucepan (choose a saucepan that the steamer sits snug on top of so not too much smoke escapes).

  • 2.

    Heat the smoking chips over a medium flame and when starting to smoke, ignite the chips and allow it to burn until all the smoking chips are evenly alight. Remove from the heat and snuff the flame out by placing a lid on top and once the flame is out, quickly remove the lid and place the steamer basket with the goats curd on top and allow the smoke to do slowly dissipate (about 15 minutes). If all this seems like too much effort, straight goats curd will do. Transfer the smoked goats curd to a piping bag and refrigerate.

  • Marinated eggplant:

  • 1.

    First salt the eggplant. Slice the eggplant widthways into 1 inch thick slices and sprinkle fairly generously with salt. Leave the eggplant salting in a colander whilst you prepare the marinade. Combine the rice vinegar, light soy and sugar and heat just until the sugar is dissolved, set aside. Back to the eggplant, rinse the salt off the eggplant completely under running water and pat dry. Heat about 3 tablespoons of the vegetable oil in a large pan and fry the eggplant slices until nicely caramelised on both sides and cooked through. This could also be done on a hot grill on a bbq. When all the eggplant is cooked pour over the soy marinade and allow it to marinate for an hour or so.

  • To assemble and serve:

  • 1.

    Arrange the eggplant on a serving platter and pipe the goats curd randomly over the eggplant. Sprinkle the toasted eggplant over the eggplant, scatter the radish slices, tare some of the shiso leaves over the top and finish with the katsuobushi shavings.


This recipe was developed by Sean McConnell from Monster to celebrate the Hunter Culinary Association’s 6th Annual Food Fight. For more information about the event, please visit

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