I’ve always wondered why yú xiāng qiézi 鱼香茄子 had the name it did. Ok, maybe not always. I got a taste of it on my early work trips to
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Yú xiāng qiézi would almost always make it to a lunch or dinner spread. They were always prepared a little differently, but each one had something special about it.
The “fish-flavoured” title comes from Sichuan’s typical flavour profile of spicy, sour and a bit sweet. Sauces that are quite often used with seafood.
No seafood in this, however. This is a simple ensemble of the hero eggplant, some spices, sauces and more oil than the average Westerner may consider using. One thing I learnt whilst in Sichuan is that its cooks aren’t shy when it comes to cooking with oil. I did, however, cut back on it a little with my adaptation of this Sichuan classic.