Every salad should include fried bread, period
No one does street food quite like Hong Kong. This bustling city is all about fried food, sweet treats, and stall-side snacks. It feels quite the honor, then, to get to feature a piece of Hong Kong culture in my latest series. In this series, I’ve been exploring the creative ways that people around the world eat eggplant. And that’s what brings us to this Hong Kong delicacy.
Allow me to introduce you to Teriyaki Stuffed Eggplant or allow Cathy to. Cathy is originally from Hong Kong, but is currently living in San Francisco, California, where she first discovered the stuffed eggplant. This dish is actually a variation on the classic street food known as Zhao Shao Niàng Qiézi or “three treasures.” The original version takes pieces of bell peppers, tofu, and eggplant, stuffs them with fish paste, and then fries them. However, Cathy’s version focuses solely on the eggplant.
When she found this new treasure in the United States, Cathy was excited because of the nostalgic memories it brought back. Yet, she was also excited about its innovation. According to her, this stuffed eggplant shows how Chinese cuisine is constantly evolving and adapting to accommodate new trends and ingredients. This one in particular brings in Japanese flavors for a fun and delicious twist.
To make this street food for yourself, you’ll need to start with Chinese eggplant cut into two-inch sections. Each section will then be peeled in strips along the side and cut three-quarters of the way through like a hot dog bun. Then comes the amazing filling of ground pork, ginger, green onion, soy sauce, and fish paste. Just like it sounds, fish paste is a thick spread of white fish, like pollock, that brings a salty and umami flavor to any dish. The eggplants are stuffed with this mixture and then pan fried until they’re brown on each side. The final step is to simmer the eggplant pieces in an amazing broth of Teriyaki sauce and dashi. Once the eggplants are tender, you can plate them along with some additional sauce and green onions.
Zhao Shao Niàng Qiézi certainly takes a lot of steps, but it is oh, so worth it. This dish really has it all – slight sweet, salty, umami with a melt in the mouth texture. Zhao Shao Niàng Qiézi is definitely a treasured dish.
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