Carpetright have just launched a gorgeous product range designed by the experts at House Beautiful magazine. They asked me to contribute a recipe and some wise words about achieving a beautiful life through cooking and eating well. Well, let’s just say the recipe part was easy. But wise words are not really my strong suit.
I have been thinking about the dramatic impact cooking and sharing food has made on my life lately. I have always loved cooking and baking and grew up in a family where food was celebrated and enjoyed in a really big way. But it’s not until I started this blog that I realised my interest in cooking was more of a passion and something that ignited something else – my love of food photography. Cooking food is now my meditation and stress release, a creative outlet as well as a way to nourish myself and my family. It brings enormous joy to my life and, hopefully, the lives of others too.
It has also taken over my life and mostly all of my house as well. Our (not so new anymore) kitchen is now also a permanent photography studio. My son says things like ‘photoshoot’ and ‘props’ at 5 years old. But much as the disruption is not always welcomed by others (=my poor suffering husband) it has opened up so many doors and opportunities for me.
Riverford supplied me with one of their fabulous recipe boxes and I took one look at the ingredients and was inspired to create this reipe. If you have ever had aubergines (eggplant) stuffed with prawns at a Chinese restaurant, you will know how well these two go together. This quickly thrown together stir fry is delicious, low fat, and better than any takeaway.
Chinese Aubergine Stir Fry with Prawns and Green Peppers
For the marinade
3 tbsp soy sauce
2 large cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp runny honey
1 tbsp Chinese rice vinegar
1 tbsp yellow miso paste
2 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp dark brown sugar
1/2 vegetable stock cube, diluted with hot water
small piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated
1 banana shallot, very finely diced
1 tsp sesame oil + 1 tbsp rapeseed (canola) oil to fry
300g | 10.5oz raw tiger prawns
1 large aubergine (eggplant), cubed
1 green bell pepper, cubed
handful of radicchio leaves, halved if large
2 red chillies, seeded and finely diced
small bunch spring onions (scallions) finely diced
coriander (cilantro) leaves to serve
freshly ground black pepper to serve
pinch crushed chilli flakes to serve
1 small red chilli, sliced into thin rounds, to serve
brown basmati rice to serve
- In a small bowl, dilute the stock cube with a tiny splash of hot water until you have a paste. Add the soy sauce, minced garlic, honey, rice vinegar, miso paste, sesame oil, and sugar. Mix everything together. with a fork. Add the chillies and chopped shallot, mix, and set aside.
- Heat the sesame oil in a wok or large frying pan and quickly fry the prawns until they start turning pink. Transfer onto a bowl and set aside.
- Add the rapeseed oil to the wok and fry the bell pepper for 3-4 minutes until it starts to soften.
- Add the cubed aubergine and a pinch of salt and fry over high heat until the aubergine starts to colour and soften. Add half the marinade and continue to fry over fairly high heat.
- Once the aubergines are almost fork tender, add the prawns, radicchio leaves and most of the spring onions and fry everything together for a couple more minutes.
- Serve the stir fry over steamed rice and garnish with the remaining spring onions, the diced chilli and some coriander leaves. Season with black pepper, to taste.