5 finger eggplants
250g fatty lamb mince
3 French shallots finely chopped (about 3/4 cup)
1/2 tsp fresh mandarin peel, finely grated
light pinch flaky sea salt
4 cloves of garlic, finely minced
125g Greek yoghurt
pinch of black pepper
2 generous pinches flaky sea salt
handful of basil leaves, finely chopped (1/4 cup)
Slice top end of the finger eggplant off, core out the eggplant with an apple corer and a knife.
Finely dice shallots and sweat with a tiny bit of oil (or melted lamb fat). Add lamb and fry until brown. Fully cooking the lamb is not required.
One minute before lamb is done, add peel and pinch of salt.
Let the mixture cool.
Set up the bamboo steamers.
Stuff the meat mixture into the eggplant, using the back end of a wooden spoon to tamp the mixture in.
Steam the manta for 15-20 minutes. The eggplant should be tender but not falling apart.
While the eggplant is steaming, finely mince the garlic and fry in a saucepan with a drop of oil. When garlic is soft, add salt, pepper and yoghurt. Turn the heat down very low and gently simmer. Just before serving add the sauce.
Serve the eggplant with the sauce poured over the top.
From Hu Szu-Hui’s Yin-Shan Cheng-Yao (Proper and Essential things for the Emperor’s Food and Drink.
Translation from A Soup for the Qan – Paul Buell and Eugene Anderson – 2000.
Mutton, sheep’s fat, sheep’s tail, onion, prepared mandarin orange peel (cut up each finely), “tender eggplant” (remove the pith).
[For] combine ingredients with meats into a stuffing. But [instead of making a dough covering] put it inside the eggplant [skin] and steam. Add garlic, cream [or yoghurt etc.], finely ground basil. Eat.