We had a Koji tasting lunch on Thursday at my friend Sam’s house. I was very excited to be able to show my friends Koji’s incredible power, but I was still a bit nervous as I’ve never demonstrated my humble cooking skills in front of people. On the day I drove to Sam’s house who kindly hosted the lunch, and after I parked my car, I noticed a strange noise was coming out from the car. Aaargghh, my front car tyre got punctured!! However, that was the worst thing that happened on the day, and the actual cooking and tasting went so well, phew! Eveybody enjoyed my Koji and gave me lots of lovely compliments! Thank you, ladies! You gave me lots of confidence to keep driving forward:)
I cooked four dishes plus a desert on the day; chicken marinated with garlic Koji, fish marinated with teriyaki Koji, Chinese mapo aubergine, tofu carbonara and fresh fruits with sweet Koji sauce for desert. The night before I marinated the chicken, fish, mushrooms and did all the chopping before I went to Sam’s house. So all the cooking was supposed to go as smoothly as a summer breeze. In reality, though, it was trickier to cook four dishes simultaneously than I expected! Anyway I’m so glad that all the dishes turned out to be nice in the end and everyone really enjoyed it!
If you are interested in the recipes, you can find the one of fish marinated with Teriyaki Koji and the tofu carbonara in my previous blogs. Today I’ll give you the recipe of Chinese mapo aubergine. I forgot to take a proper photo of the dish, but I promise to add it later! This is a great way to cook aubergine without using much oil, and one of my friends there who is another aubergine lover was so impressed. If you also like aubergine, try it and you’ll love it!
Chinese Mapo Aubergine vegetarian version with Garlic Koji
Easy and simple! You’ll be amazed to see how aubergine can be come so tasty without using much oil. This is my favourite aubergine dish!
prep aration time: 1 hour or more for marinating the mushrooms (and pork if using), 20 minutes for cooking
Aubergine 1-1.5 large ones
Mushrooms 100g roughly chopped (shiitake or oyster mushroom is the best, but ordinary mushrooms do too! You can substitute minced pork for mushrooms if you wish )
Garlic Koji 1tbs for the mushrooms and 1.5 for the aubergine marinade.
(Chinese herb mix: chop the following finely)
A few sprigs of spring onion
A knob of ginger
1 clove of garlic
Chile paste (Chinese Tobanjan is the best) 1.5 tbs*
Corn flour 2 tsp mixed with 2 tsp water
Water 3/4 cups
*Adjust the amount according to your taste.
1. Mix Garlic Koji with chopped mushrooms or minced pork very well and leave it for a few hours in a fridge.
2. Cut an aubergine in half (length way s) first, then cut them in half across. Cut each piece into 4 to 6 pieces.
3. Mix 1.5 tbs of Garlic Koji with the aubergine and put it in microwave for a few minutes.
4. Heat some sunflower oil in a frying pan (if you have a wok, it works better!) with medium heat. P ut in chili paste and the Chinese herb mix and stir fry for 1 minutes being careful not to burn it .
5. Add pork mince if you are using it and stir fry until cooked.
6. Add mushrooms and keep stir-frying for a few more minutes.
7. Add aubergine and water in a pan, turn the heat up and cover. Steam it for about 5 minutes.
8. When the aubergine bec ome s very tender, taste and adjust seasonings. If it’s not salty enough for you, add a little bit more garlic koji.
9. Add corn flour mixed with water in to the pan and stir it well until the soup gets thicker. Put 1 tbs of sesame oil into the pan and mix well.
10. Serve while hot!