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Trying to up your dip game? Enter: this smoky, spicy eggplant wonder — packed with the flavours of Southeast Asia ❤️ Throw it in the middle of the table to smother on veg, or pack it for a picnic with a crispy baguette for scooping!

You will need

Serves 4

  • 6 large Lebanese eggplant
  • 2 spring onion, finely sliced
  • 2 red shallots, finely sliced
  • 2 sawtooth coriander leaves, finely sliced
  • 1 birds eye chilli, sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce (or tamari)
  • 1 teaspoon vegan 'fish' sauce
  • Pinch salt

Veg crudités:

  • 200g soft tofu, cut into 3cm cubes, fried
  • 500ml vegetable oil, for frying
  • 100g snake beans or green beans, trimmed and blanched
  • 150g cabbage, blanched
  • 50g morning glory stalks, blanched
  • 2 baby carrots
  • 6 baby cucumbers

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15 mins to prep

  1. Step 1

    Grill the eggplants to prepare the relish: You can either grill the eggplants over charcoal for the ultimate smoky flavour, or similar can be achieved by blistering the skin over the stovetop and finishing in the oven for 7 mins or until soft. Once cooked, place the eggplants in a bowl and cover with cling film — this will sweat the eggplant and make the skin easier to peel. Leave to cool for 10 minutes, then peel the skin from the eggplants.

  2. Step 2

    Meanwhile, heat vegetable oil in a frypan to 180°C and fry the tofu cubes in batches for 5 minutes or until lightly golden brown. Place on a paper towel to drain.

  3. Step 3

    Blanche the beans, cabbage, and morning glory stalks. Drain, and tie your beans and morning glory stalks into little knots, effectively turning them into little relish-scoopers.

  4. Step 4

    Roughly chop the eggplants and place it into a bowl (a mortar & pestle are great if you’ve got them!) and mix in the remaining relish ingredients. Make sure it’s all combined well to form a multi-textured relish.

  5. Step 5

    Serve the eggplant relish in a small bowl with all veg crudités on a plate beside it. Use the veg crudités to scoop up the eggplant relish — and relish the flavours of all your hard work ;)

Recipe: Jerry Mai

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