China: Char Siu Pork & Shanghai Eggplant

This week I hung out in the China section of the Food Safari book. Good friend and fellow blogger Drk had previously extolled the virtues of the Char Siu pork and she was not wrong. Apart from being tasty in the extreme, it was also the best kind of dish in that you simply marinate, then bake. Almost minimal effort!

I made the accompanying Shanghai Style Stir-fry eggplant as well and we feasted happily!

I marinated the pork filets for ages because we were out all afternoon and I don’t think it hurt at all to have it marinating way longer than the specified two hours. Once out of the oven they looked all glistening and inviting. Dressed with a little honey before slicing, they were perfect.

Char Siu Pork

We sliced them, arranged over rice and alongside the eggplant. The pork was tender and sublimely tasty. I couldn’t fault it. Next time, we plan to try it with ribs instead, which will obviously mean longer cooking.

Char Siu Pork

As for the Shanghai Style Stir-fry eggplant, this was a side dish made for me. I’m an eggplant lover from way back. As is Delly. Little known fact: about a decade ago, for laughs, we formed an alliance, a society for two of Eggplant lovers. We once had a lunch made entirely of eggplant dishes, including a soup. I don’t remember what the other dish was. And it’s a vegetable that’s so badly done so often which is why I think it’s much misunderstood. But when you get it as silky and soft as this dish does, it’s magnificent! I used two regular eggplants because at my green grocer’s this week, the Japanese eggplants were undersized and bruised. Not very nice at all.

Char Siu Pork + Shanghai Eggplant

See in the photo? The eggplants are almost completely transformed by the dark soy sauce and chilli. It becomes a satiny, delectable mouthful. I misread the recipe and just chopped the chilli and left it in the dish, but in the recipe, a chunk of chilli is used at the start and returned at the end. It could be very easily left out for the non-chilli eaters. I think with the dark soy, it’s already intense enough. The chilli just adds kick for those who are so inclined.

Dress with a little coriander and serve. I think my little trip to China was well worth it.



5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Rose Red
    Jun 14, 2010 @ 19:50:26

    Don’t know about the eggplant (although you might tempt me…) but hello, pork, yum!!!

    I have been watching some Food Safari on the Foxtel today – have been to Thailand, Greece and France. Andrew is sold on getting the book after seeing France! Hurrah!


  2. drkknits
    Jun 14, 2010 @ 20:15:58

    Droooooooooool!!!! I love that pork, and need to make it again soon, but I think that eggplant and chili takes it to a whole other level. Amazing!


  3. David Hilyard
    Jun 14, 2010 @ 21:26:14

    Sign me up for the eggplant club! Just char them on a gas burner, skin (don’t rinse — you lose all the flavour), squeeze, mash with garlic & lemon, eat as dip with Leb bread. Yummo.

    Your dishes look great! And an action shot of the pork carving …



  4. Jodi
    Jun 14, 2010 @ 22:43:23

    You had me at pork — particularly pork tenderloin. Am I going to have to order this book and actually follow a recipe???? I hope Food Safari catches on and starts paying you guys a commission. Without you and Delly, we poor unfortunates in the U.S. would have never even heard of Food Safari.


  5. Leonie
    Jun 14, 2010 @ 22:57:57

    Yummo. As a total foodie I am becoming as addicted to this little blog of yours as much as to your other one 🙂


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