Destinations Magazine

Asian Dressed Aubergine

By Melikeyuk
A delicious way of eating aubergine
Asian Dressed Aubergine

If I said to you, “How about some steamed aubergine?” What would your reaction be? Well, if it is anything like mine it might be unimpressed, uninspired and perhaps you may even think there are better ways to cook or prepare aubergine! Let’s face it the thought of it doesn’t really fill you with images of a mouthwatering feast does it? When I suggested the same to hubbie last week I had already anticipated his reaction and threw in the remark “with some unseasoned potatoes boiled to oblivion”. Oh, I do have an evil streak, don’t I :-) Needless to say he wasn’t jumping for joy!

In fact this recipe came about as a friend had given us a steamer as he was leaving the country and thought we might be able to put it to good use. A kind hearted soul indeed. Well, shock horror, I don’t have a steamer in the UK and even worse, I do not posses a rice steamer in Hong Kong so I’m not overly familiar with how they work. To compound matters, the appliance was lacking an operations manual but I thought it should be fairly straightforward to steam vegetables following the pictures on the box of said appliance.

After doing a bit of digging, I noticed that Jamie Oliver had a nice recipe for Steamed Aubergine and I thought, well, that might just do the trick!

So having washed and cut the aubergine, I was now ready to test my new appliance. I had filled the bottom tray with water, put the aubergine in the tray above, put the timer on for 10 minutes and set to work preparing the dressing as the timer ticked away. After 10 minutes, the bell rang and I was ready to examine the results of my new cooking toy. Unfortunately, I was disappointed to discover that during that time, no steaming had taken place. In fact the water had barely reached a mild temperature and the aubergine was turning a tinge of brown. Ugh!

Knowing that we were having fish with the aubergine and it was due to be ready in a matter of minutes, I opted for my reliable and favorite way of cooking aubergine; grilling. I brushed the cut aubergine with the dressing of soy sauce, sesame oil, sweet chilli sauce and lemon juice and placed them under the grill for approximately 20 minutes. The result was a beautifully blackened flesh on the aubergines:

The best way to prepare Aubergines is to grill them

Grilled Aubergine

The next part was easy, just removing the stalk and slicing the flesh of the warm aubergine, mildly crispy on the outside and soft and helpless on the inside. Dressing the vegetable when the aubergine is warm is key as it absorbs and enriches the flavor of the aubergine. The flavor explosion is a mixture of the sourness brought on by the the lemon juice, the smokiness of the blackened aubergine, the heat added by the chilli and the freshness of the herbs. This dish is a perfect accompaniment to steamed or roasted fish.

The recipe has been adapted by the aforementioned Jamie Oliver recipe. Here are the ingredients you will need:

Ingredients for Asian Dressed Aubergine

Ingredients for Asian Dressed Aubergine

Print Asian Dressed Aubergine

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Serving Size: Serves 2 for Side Order

This is a great way to enjoy aubergine. The dressing enhances the flavor of the vegetable and will be a winner if you are a fan of Asian cuisine.


  • 2 medium size aubergines, sliced vertically in halves
  • the juice of one lemon
  • 4 tbsp of soy sauce
  • 3 tbsp of sweet chilli sauce
  • 2 tbsp of sesame oil
  • 3 tsp of white sugar
  • a generous bunch of mint
  • a generous bunch of coriander
  • a generous bunch of sweet basil
  • bird's eye chili *2 , sliced


  1. Pre-heat the grill.
  2. Place the soy sauce, sesame oil, lemon juice, sugar and sweet chilli sauce in a bowl and mix together.
  3. Use a basting or pastry brush to coat the aubergine on the flesh side with the mixture.
  4. Place the aubergine in the grill, flesh side up and cook for approximately 15-20 minutes or until a blackened look is achieved. The vegetable should be quite soft to touch but firm enough to retain shape when cut into chunks.
  5. While grilling the aubergine,prepare the herbs by coarsely chopping the leaves and stalks of the basil and coriander and the leaves of the mint. Add about 2 thirds of the herbs to the mixture in the bowl and toss.
  6. Cut off the stalks from the aubergine and slice the vegetable into reasonable size chunks while still warm.
  7. Add the sliced aubergine to the mixture and toss.
  8. Garnish with the remaining herbs and sliced chilli.


I've added extra chilli to this recipe as I love spicy food but if you prefer, you can omit the fresh chilli and rely on the mild heat from the sweet chilli sauce.

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I’m sure the recipe works well with the steamer too, I just need enough patience to try it out again. Perhaps I’ll add in some time for experimentation when I next use it!

I’m entering this recipe into Karen’s Herbs on a Saturday challenge over at Lavender and Lovage

Herbs on Saturday

What is your favorite way of preparing aubergine? Do let me know in the comments below!

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