Steamed aubergine in a chilli and sesame dressing

  • Side
  • 4–6
  • 20 minutes
Not yet rated

This tasty steamed aubergine recipe is a popular Chinese side dish and just so happens to be vegan. Serve as part of an array of other dishes, or simply with steamed rice.

Chinese toasted sesame paste can be found in Asian supermarkets, but don't be tempted to use tahini instead as it has a very different flavour. You can, however, use peanut butter – just try to make sure it's heavily roasted. 

First published in 2022

Amy says: 'A simple dish that can be prepared in advance and served at room temperature, either as a starter or as part of a family-style sharing menu. The toasted sesame paste cannot be substituted with tahini which produces an entirely different flavour. If you cannot find Chinese sesame paste, you can used roasted peanut butter instead.'





  • Large steamer



Place a large bamboo steamer over a pan of simmering water. Stack the batons of aubergine in 2 neat lines in a dish that will fit inside your steamer. Place the dish in your steamer and steam over a high heat until the aubergines are soft (about 12–15 minutes)


Meanwhile, combine the light soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, chilli oil and sesame paste (or peanut butter) and mix well until the sugar has completely dissolved


Remove the aubergine from the steamer and pour off any water that has collected in the dish. Pat the aubergine dry and arrange in a serving dish, then pour over the dressing. Spread the chopped garlic and spring onions evenly over the aubergines


Finally, heat the vegetable oil in a small pan until smoking hot. Carefully pour the hot oil over the garlic and spring onions. Be careful as it will sizzle and spit

  • 2 tbsp of vegetable oil

Serve with this presentation, but make sure you mix everything together before eating

First published in 2022

Amy is the founder of Poon's London, a Chinese bistro, deli and grocery concept which produces oils, sauces and condiments as well as wontons and other popular Chinese dishes.

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