Seasonal Recipes

Roasted Eggplant & Noodles with Black Vinegar Dressing

 

You can find Chinese black vinegar and shao hsing at Asian grocers, however regular white rice vinegar will also work in place of black and if you aren't able to track down gluten-free shao hsing, dry sherry can be used instead or mirin if that's what you have at hand.

Serves 2-ish

1 large eggplant, ends trimmed
olive oil, fine sea salt + freshly ground black pepper
cooked rice noodles (I used fresh ones, but dried are fine)
finely chopped spring onions (scallions), toasted sesame seeds + sliced chilli, to serve

Chinese Black vinegar dressing
1 1/2 tablespoons Chinese black vinegar 
1 tablespoon shao hsing cooking wine or dry sherry 
2 teaspoons unrefined raw sugar (or brown rice syrup)
2 teaspoons gluten-free soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon sesame oil
1 small clove garlic, minced

Cut the eggplant into quarters lengthwise, then cut each quarter into 3 wedges. Sprinkle each cut side with a little fine sea salt and set aside for 20-30 minutes to draw out the bitter juices. Turn your oven on to 200C/400F to preheat while the eggplant is doing it's thing. 

Combine the dressing ingredients in a small bowl and stir well to combine. Continue to stir every few minutes until the sugar has dissolved. 

Rinse eggplant slices, then pat dry with a clean tea-towel or paper towel. Brush each piece with a little olive oil and lay them on a oven tray. Bake for 20-25 minutes, turning over once during cooking, until tender and golden brown on both sides. 

Serve wedges of eggplant on cooked rice noodles, scatter with sliced spring onions, sesame seeds and chilli and drizzle with as much dressing as you like.