Caramelized Kimchi & Sriracha Stir-fry Ramen with Char Siu Aubergine

The other day I was so busy with meetings that I didn’t have time to have lunch. So I quickly stopped by my Asian store on my way home to grab an instant ramen soup. They sold some with with kimchi so I thought of making something similar but in stir-fry form. I love Chinese BBQ pork but I wanted to make a vegetarian version of it, so I made it with aubergine instead. I caramelized the kimchi for extra depth of flavor and added some sriracha for some heat.

This recipe serves 2.

Ingredients:

For the aubergines:

2 medium aubergines, chopped into small cubes

1/4 cup of char siu sauce (Chinese bbq sauce)

2 tablespoons of soy sauce

2 tablespoon of sesame oil

1 teaspoon of Chinese five spice powder

1 tablespoon of white vinegar

For the ramen:

2 tablespoons of sesame oil

½ a red onion, finely chopped

1/2 cup of kimchi, finely chopped

2 tablespoons of finely chopped ginger

2 cloves of garlic, minced

2 tablespoons of hoisin

2 tablespoons of soy sauce

1 tablespoon of oyster sauce

1 tablespoon of sriracha (or more to taste)

Extras:

300grs of ramen noodles

2 eggs

Sesame seeds

Chopped chives

 

For the Char siu aubergine: Mix the chopped aubergine with the char siu sauce, soy sauce, sesame oil, Chinese five spice powder and vinegar. Place it on a large pan (preferably non-stick pan) over medium heat. Cook for about 14 minutes. Stirring from time to time. You want it to caramelize, so flatten it with a spatula to get them in a single layer. This way they will get nicely browned. Set it aside.

For the 7 minute eggs: Place the eggs in a saucepan over medium heat and add boiling water. Boil them for 7 minutes. Remove the shells and slice them in half.

For the ramen: Place the sesame oil, onion, kimchi and ginger in a large pan over medium-low heat. Let it caramelize for about 6 minutes, stir constantly so it doesn’t burn. Then add the garlic cloves and stir-fry for another minute. Remove it from the heat.

Boil the ramen noodles as instructed on the package. Drain them.

Once the noodles are cooked; add the hoisin, soy sauce, oyster sauce and sriracha to the pan with the kimchi. Mix well over medium heat. Then add the noodles and mix until they are coated in the sauce.

Serve the ramen with the char siu aubergine and soft boiled egg. Sprinkle some chives and sesame seeds.

I also served them with some pickled daikon that I made the night before (I juts pickled it in white vinegar with salt, sugar and chopped chili).

For more foodie inspiration, travel & lifestyle; you can follow me on Instagram and Facebook. For behind the scenes, more of Amsterdam and a peek of press events, you can follow my Instagram stories and Youtube channel.

Tamarind Roasted Aubergine

I love how versatile aubergines are, and how they don’t have to be just a side dish. In this recipe, they are the stars. I like to eat these over a bed of rice and snow peas sauteed in sesame oil. They add some crunch and I love their flavor too. Since the past year, I’ve been kind of obsessed with tamarind. And it goes so well with the aubergine. It adds a bit of sourness which is then balanced out with the brown sugar and honey.

This recipe is for 4 small aubergines.

Ingredients:

4 small aubergines

For the sauce:

1 tablespoon of finely chopped red chili, you can add more if you like it spicy

2 cloves of garlic, minced

4 tablespoons of tamarind paste

2 tablespoons of brown sugar

2 tablespoons of honey

3 tablespoons of sesame oil

2 tablespoons of fish sauce

1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar

Pinch of salt

Pinch of black pepper

Extras:

Chopped chives

Fried onions (store-bought)

Chili flakes

 

Preheat your oven to 200C/390F and line a baking tray with parchment paper.

Slice each aubergine in half, lengthwise. Then grab a sharp paring knife and make long cuts down the length of the aubergine without slicing through the skin. Repeat with perpendicular cuts to form cubes. It’s the same way that you would slice a mango. If you need visuals on how to do it, check out these instructions with pictures from the kitchn. Do this for all the aubergines.

To make the sauce, just mix all of the ingredients in a bowl.

Then place the aubergines in the prepared baking dish, skin side down. Brush generously with the sauce. Make sure it gets in between the cuts. Roast them for 40 minutes.

You will probably have a little bit of sauce left. Once the 40 minutes are done, I like to brush them with the little bit of sauce that was left over. Then broil it in the oven for 5 minutes, so that the top caramelizes a bit.

Remove the aubergines from the oven. Serve them with a sprinkle of fried onions, chopped chives and chili flakes. I like to eat them with some rice and sautéed vegetables.

For more foodie inspiration, travel & lifestyle; you can follow me on Instagram and Facebook. For behind the scenes, more of Amsterdam and a peek of press events, you can follow my Instagram stories and Youtube channel.

 

Miso Roasted Eggplant Gyoza

IMG_0838

I can’t go too long without having some dumplings. I mixed a finely chopped eggplant with miso sauce and used it as the filling. Very simple but packed with flavor. I normally let them steam but this time I pan-fried them. They are crispy little delights.

IMG_0841

This recipe makes about 30 gyoza.

Ingredients:

1 large eggplant, chopped into very small cubes

About 30 gyoza wrappers, defrosted

For the miso sauce:

1 tablespoon of aka miso

1 teaspoon of honey

3 tablespoons of soy sauce

1 tablespoon of white vinegar

1 tablespoon of ginger syrup

1 tablespoon of sesame oil

2 tablespoons of sesame seeds

For the dipping sauce:

1 tablespoon of chopped fresh ginger

3 tablespoons of chopped chives

Juice of 1 lime

1 bird’s eye chili, finely chopped

1 tablespoon of sesame oil

1/3 cup of soy sauce

Extra:

Vegetable oil for pan–frying the gyoza

 

Preheat your oven to 180C/350F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

To make the dipping sauce, just mix all of the ingredients in a bowl. Set it aside.

Thinly slice the eggplant and then chop it into very small cubes.Since the wrappers are quite small, you want the eggplant chopped as finely as possible.

Place all of the ingredients for the miso sauce in a large bowl and whisk until everything is well combined. Add the eggplant and mix well.  Spread it evenly on the prepared baking sheet. Roast it for 30 minutes, stirring halfway through the cooking time. Then allow it to cool down.

Once the eggplant has cooled down, start to assemble the gyoza. Place about 2 teaspoons of the filling in the center of the wrapper, brush the edges of the wrapper with some water and then fold it into a half moon shape. Starting at one end, fold/pinch the wrapper tightly together. Keep going until it is completely sealed, trying to get rid of any air bubbles. Repeat for all.

Once the gyoza are ready, pour about 1 cup of vegetable oil in a large pan over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, fry the gyoza in batches until golden on both sides. This will only take a few minutes and since the filling is already cooked, it goes quite fast. Place the gyoza on a plate lined with parchment paper to absorb any excess oil.

Serve them right away with the dipping sauce. Enjoy!

For more foodie inspiration, you can follow me on Instagram and Facebook.

 

 

Eggplant Bolognese (Vegetarian)

IMG_6678

A vegetarian version of this traditional meaty dish. It still packs a lot of flavor because the garlic and eggplants are roasted in the oven. And besides the red wine, I also added a bit of port. If you want to save time, you can also roast the garlic and eggplant the day before.

This recipe serves 3.

Ingredients:

For the sauce:

1 head of garlic

2 eggplants (medium sized) cut into small cubes

1 red onion, chopped

3 tablespoons of olive oil

500gr of tomato pure

1 shot of port

1 cup of vegetable or chicken stock

1 cup of red wine

1 tablespoon of dried oregano

1 tablespoon of dried basil

2 bay leaves

2 teaspoons of sugar

Salt to taste

Pepper to taste

Extras:

350grs of dried pasta, I used Armoniche pasta

Grated Grana Padano for serving

Fresh basil for decoration

 

Preheat the oven to 180C/350F. Line a baking tray with aluminum foil.

Trim the top off the head of the garlic to expose the top of the garlic cloves. Drizzle a bit of olive oil on top and wrap it in foil.

Place the chopped eggplants in the prepared tray with the garlic. Drizzle some olive oil over the eggplant and add some salt. Roast for 1 hour. Stir the eggplant half way.

Once the garlic is roasted, press it to push out the garlic cloves. Chop them.

Place 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until translucent. Then add the roasted garlic, eggplants, port and red wine.  Let it cook for about 3 minutes while stirring. Then add the tomato puree, stock, oregano, basil, bay leaves, sugar, salt and pepper. Stir to mix it and let it cook for about 20 minutes until it becomes a sauce. Taste for salt and pepper, and remove the bay leaves.

Cook the pasta as instructed on the package. Then place the drained pasta in the pan with the sauce and mix it until well combined.

Serve with some grated Grana Padano and fresh basil leaves.

For more foodie inspiration, you can follow me on Instagram and Facebook.