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).

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Potato Cakes Stuffed with Lentil Coconut Curry (served with mango chutney)

These potato cakes are very easy to make. You can even make them with leftover mashed potatoes. For the filling I used beluga lentils since they hold their shape but you can use other kinds instead. I flavored them with curry spices and coconut milk. And because curry goes so well with mango chutney, I also made some to accompany these potato cakes. You can also make them smaller as an appetizer. They are great for a dinner party since they can be made in advance.

This recipe makes about 14 potato cakes.

Ingredients:

For the lentil coconut curry:

1 tablespoon of coconut oil

1 red onion, finely chopped

2 cloves of garlic, minced

1 tablespoon of finely chopped ginger

1/2 teaspoon of turmeric

2 teaspoons of hot curry powder

½ teaspoon of ground coriander seeds

1 cup of tomato puree

400ml of coconut milk

750ml of vegetable stock

Pinch of salt

1 cup of beluga lentils

For the potato dough:

1 1/2 kilos of potatoes (the mashing kind)

Salt to taste

1 egg white

¼ cup of all-purpose flour

For the coating:

1 1/2 cups of flour

1 ½ cups of panko

3 eggs, beaten

Pinch of salt

1 1/2 teaspoon of onion powder

1 teaspoon of garlic powder

1 cup of vegetable oil for pan-frying

For the Mango chutney:

250gr of diced mango (I used frozen mango, but you can also use fresh mango)

1 medium white onion, finely chopped

1 tablespoon of minced ginger

1 bird’s eye chili, chopped

¼ cup of apple cider vinegar

¼ cup white vinegar

¼ cup of sugar

½ cups of water

Pinch of salt

 

To make the curried lentils: Place the coconut oil in a medium pot over medium heat. Once the coconut oil has melted; add the onion, garlic, ginger, turmeric, curry powder and ground coriander seeds. Cook while stirring for about 2 minutes. Then add the lentils. Give it a good stir and then add the tomato puree, coconut milk, vegetable stock and a pinch of salt. Let it cook over medium-low heat for about 30 minutes till it becomes a creamy stew. Don’t forget to stir every couple of minutes so that it doesn’t burn in the bottom. Taste for salt and set it aside to cool down.

To make the mango chutney: Place all of the ingredients in a pot over medium-low heat. Let it cook for about 18 minutes, stirring from time to time until it has a chutney consistency. Midway through the cooking time, I like to mash the mango using a potato masher or a fork. Then transfer it to a bowl and allow it to cool down.

To make the potato cakes: Boil the potatoes till they are tender. Check with a knife. Then carefully peel them while they are still hot and mash them. Add salt to taste. Let it cool down a bit until you can handle touching the mash. Add the egg white and flour. Knead the dough with your hands making sure there are no lumps.

Take about 1/2 cup of the potato dough and flatten it with your hands, add about 1 tablespoon of the curried lentils in the middle and then shape it into a patty. Make sure the filling is not sticking out. Repeat for all.

Once all the potato cakes are done, have the coating ready. For the coating; mix the salt, onion and garlic powder with the panko. Coat each potato cake in the flour, then egg and finally in the seasoned panko. Set them aside.

Pour the vegetable oil in a large pan over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, fry the potato cakes in batches. Be careful when flipping them so they don’t break. Since they are already cooked, you just have to pan-fry them till they are evenly golden. This goes fast so keep an eye on them. Place them on a plate lined with paper towels.

Serve them warm with the mango chutney.

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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.