Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Triple the Aubergine Satay Stack

 If you love Thai food as much as I do and are a sucker for a good home made satay sauce then this is the vegetarian recipe for you. Get your pestle and mortar out for this one and reap the benefits. This is a seriously good satay sauce. The combination of both baked aubergine and baby baked aubergines sat under a crispy, aubergine filled wonton gives this dish some really varied textures. As a meat eater I definitely don't feel like I'm missing out. This is a treat of a meal which can easily be adapted from a starter to a main with the addition of some crispy fried tofu to add a bit of extra sustenance. 

This is another dish that has made it onto my Pop-up menu, just in case you weren't already convinced.

You can find more recipes from the Pop-up menu here on

Triple the Aubergine Satay Stack - 

Preparation/Cooking Time - 40mins
Feeds x 4/6

Ingredients - 

Satay Sauce
1 x Tbsp of coriander seeds - Lightly toast these in a dry frying pan for 1/2 mins
1 x Tbsp of cumin seeds - Lightly toast these in a dry frying pan for 1/2 mins
Pinch of rock salt
1 x Tbsp of lemongrass - Finely chopped 
1 x Tbsp of galangal - Finely chopped
4 x Cloves of garlic - Crushed and finely chopped
1 x Large shallot or 1/2 red onion
1 x Tbsp of coriander roots - Washed and finely sliced
300ml of Coconut cream
1.5 x Tbsp of palm sugar/caster sugar
55g of Ground peanuts
Small sprinkle of chilli flakes
4 x Dry chilli flakes - Hydrate in water for 10mins then squeeze dry and finely slice

4/6 Handfuls of watercress salad leaves - Throughly washed 
2 x Large aubergines - Sliced into 1cm thick rings
Crispy fried tofu - Allow 3/4 cubes per serving
1 x Pack of baby aubergines - Allow 6 per person to garnish
Pack of wonton pastries (filo pastry is a good alternative, prepare to 3x3 inches)

Cucumber Relish -

1/2 x Cucumber - Cut in half longways and finely chop
5 x Tablespoons of rice wine vinegar
1/2 x Medium red chilli
1 x Tsp of palm sugar - Caster sugar works too

Instructions - 
Aubergine & Tofu
Start by pre-heating your oven to 200 degrees then place the sliced aubergine and pre fried tofu on a tray with a generous glug of oil. Rape seed oil works well for this. Season with rock salt and let cook for 25mins. Add the baby aubergines for 5 minutes prior to taking out the aubergine and tofu. Once the aubergine is cooked allow one small slice per 'wonton' and mush the aubergine. Season if additional salt is required then simply place on top of your wonton pastry and fold up the sides around the aubergine. A good tip here is to use the oil from the aubergine to stick the wanton paper. Drop this into boiling oil to deep fry for 2mins until it starts to turn golden. You should do this just before you're ready to serve to ensure your wonton is nice and hot.

Satay Sauce -
Next you can get started on the satay sauce. Lightly toast both the cumin and coriander seeds by cooking in a dry pan on a medium heat for a minute or two. While you're doing this hydrate your dried chillies in warm water, leaving them for 10mins then squeezing out any remaining liquid, slice and add them to the pestle and mortar. Combine the toasted cumin and coriander seeds with the chilli and muddle until it turns into a paste. Continue this process when adding the rest of the ingredients, making sure that you add each herb and muddle it into a paste prior to adding the next. Add in the lemongrass, followed by the galangal, garlic, coriander roots and shallot. Heat 1/4 of the coconut cream on a medium heat on the hob, cook for 3mins then add the paste and let this cook for 4/5 minutes making sure to let the paste cook through. Add the palm sugar and the remaining coconut cream along with the ground peanuts and let this cook for a further 20mins. The colour should become increasingly brown the longer you cook it with the flavour also intensifying the longer you cook it. This is the perfect sauce to make the day before serving. Check the seasoning and add a sprinkle of salt and the chilli flakes.

Cucumber Relish - 
Combine all of the ingredients listed and leave to marinate for 20mins in the fridge. Serve alongside the hot tofu. 

To bring this dish together and make it look fancy. Place your handful of watercress in the middle of your plate followed by 3 or 4 rings of the baked aubergine. Next place the tofu (if using) around the edge, evenly spaced, adding the satay sauce in the spaces round the outside of the bowl. Add the baked baby aubergines to garnish along with the cucumber relish before placing the aubergine wonton on top of the stack. This simple finish looks attractive and makes this dish even more worthwhile and appealing.


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