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Savoury Aubergine Stir-fry

가지 볶음: Gaji Bokkeum

I love this dish- it's simple to make and tastes great: a savoury aubergine that melts in your mouth.   I remember it being on our kitchen table and can see why it was something my mom made often.  Whilst it has just 5-6 ingredients I found it tricky to make because the key is cooking the aubergine just right! You want it soft and silky but not mushy. 

Cooking time: 45 min of which 15 min active

What you need:

Aubergine (Eggplant): 1 shiny, firm medium

Sea Salt: 1/4 tsp (1 pinch to 1/2 tsp depending on how much salt you like)

Soy Sauce: 1 tsp (Dark Soy works well here too) 

Sesame Seed Oil: 1 tsp

Sesame Seeds: 1 pinch

Spring Onion: 1 sprig (optional) 

Oil: 1 Tbsp for frying. Any type of vegetable oil will work well

Cooking tools: Frying pan with Lid, Medium Bowl 

What to do: 

Wash & chop Aubergine into finger size pieces in width and length like thick chips.  First cut the Aubergine into blocks of 3 inches then cut each block length wise 1 cm wide both ways.   Put them into a medium sized bowl and add Sea Salt. Depending on how salty (or not!) you like your food, this can be between a pinch to 1/2 tsp.  I used 1/4 tsp and thought it was perfect but we don't eat a lot of salt.  Toss the Aubergine in Salt and set aside for 20 minutes.  The Aubergine will 'sweat' and become shiny with a little bit of water on its surface. The colour may change a little on the white parts which is normal. 

Meanwhile, if you are using Spring Onion then wash and chop into blocks about 2-3 inches long. Cut the white parts in half.  Set aside. 

Heat the frying pan and add 3/4 Tbsp of Oil on high heat.  When the Aubergine has been presalted for 20 min, add to the hot frying pan and stir.  Cook for 5-10 minutes stirring occassionally, making sure that the Aubergine doesn't burn.  Add the white part of the Spring onions, cover the pan with a lid and reduce heat to Medium. Let cook for 5-7 minutes.  Uncover to check the Aubergine, they should be about 75-80% cooked, with some peices soft already. Add the rest of the Spring onion.  Stirring occasionally, add a little bit more Oil (the remaining 1/4 Tbsp) if you think the Aubergine looks a bit dry or is starting to burn.  Cook until all the pieces are done - they should be a little shiny and soft but not to the point where they are mushy.  If needed, cover the Aubergine for a few more minutes.  From my experience total cooking time takes about 20 minutes.  Take the pan off the heat before seasoning. I like to put everything in a separate bowl to season but you can season in the pan as well.  To season, add Sesame Oil and Soy Sauce.  Sprinkle a pinch of Toasted Sesame Seeds to serve.  Enjoy immediately! 

This dish makes a great main with a bowl of steamed rice. It is also a tasty side dish to any meal.  This dish also tastes great at room temp.  Store any leftovers in the fridge.