Yu Xiang sauce is an interesting one, it translates to "fish fragrant sauce", but there are no fish involved. It's a hot, garlicky, and sour sauce found throughout Sichuan cuisine.
Ingredients (serves 2)
2 aubergines (preferably the long ones, otherwise the chubby ones will do fine)
2 tbsp Yep Hunan Salted Chillies
2 tbsp Yep Garlic Chilli Oil
2 spring onions
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cornstarch or similar
Optional: You can add 200g of minced pork to this dish as well.
2 tsp light soy sauce
2 tbsp Chinkiang vinegar (this will be your new favourite vinegar)
4 tbsp water
1 tbsp cornstarch or similar
1 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 tbsp minced ginger
Prepare a bowl of water and add 1 tsp of salt and mix. Cut the aubergine into strips, trying to keep skin on each piece and place in the water to soak for 10 minutes.
Mix all the sauce ingredients in a bowl and set aside.
Drain the aubergine well and and coat with cornstarch. Add a little oil to a frying pan, once hot, fry the aubergine pieces until browned. Depending on pan size, you can do this in batches. Set aside once cooked.
Add more oil if the pan is too dry, then add Yep Garlic Chilli Oil and Hunan Salted Chillies to the pan and fry until fragrant, around 20-30 seconds, then add 3/4 of the chopped spring onion. Mix the set-aside sauce again to loosen the cornstarch and pour into the pan. Cook until sauce has thickened. (If you decided to add minced pork to your dish, fry until browned add the start of this step)
Add the cooked aubergine to the sauce, switch off the heat and give it all a good mix. Serve on a bed of rice and garnish with the remaining spring onion and sesame seeds.
Yu Xiang sauce can be used with any fleshy veggie or minced meat, it's a great sauce to have in the locker.