I’m getting hungry as I’m writing this post. One of my favourite dishes from Chinese restaurants that is not available from most provincial restaurants. The magic of this dish comes from the way the aubergine absorbs the flavours so beautifully.
6 tbsp vegetable oil
1.5 kg pork shoulder, skinned and boned and diced into large chunks
4 aubergines, cut into large chunks
4 tbsp sugar
5 whole star anise
2 cinnamon sticks
4 onions, chopped
10 cm fresh root ginger, peeled and finely sliced
2 red Thai chillies, deseeded and sliced
2 tbsp Thai fish sauce
Water or chicken stock to cover
Juice of 2 limes
Fresh coriander leaves
Preheat an oven to 200C/390F/GM6. In an ovenproof pan, sauté the pork in half of the oil in batches until they brown. Remove the pork with a slotted spoon and keep warm. Add the rest of the oil to the pan and sauté the aubergine chunks until they too are brown then add the sugar, star anise, cinnamon sticks, onions and ginger. Sauté further for about two minutes then return the pork to the pan. Add the chilli and fish sauce then enough water or chicken stock to cover. Cover the pan and place in the oven for about 60 minutes. Add water to top up if necessary. Add the lime juice and some more fish sauce with fresh chopped chillies if necessary. Serve in bowls garnished with the coriander leaves.