First of all I do want to apologise for the long absence on this blog (starting to happen a little more often than it should). Truthfully I’ve been meaning to write something but as my current favourite catchphrase goes “life gets in the way” (or just my way of spelling out procrastination). Though most of you who follows me on social media probably got a taste of how hectic my life has been. Well, I’m back! With a recipe!
There are a few dishes that are on mega high rotation at the moment, for example: chicken soup (because I need to keep boosting my immune system and right now I’m recovering from a particularly nasty bout of bronchitis), teochew porridge (for the same reason, plus I am partial to Chai Po Omelette), cauli fried rice (of course) and this other dish that is highly nutritious, delicious and also fun to eat: Pork and Eggplant Lettuce Cup.
Pork and Eggplant Lettuce Cup
I love to wrap my food in lettuce (why do I feel like I’ve said it here before, I probably have), and did you know that Romaine lettuce is one of the most nutrient dense vegetables? The Nutrient density score is 63.48, while the score for Kale is 49.07. So even more reason for me to wrap more things in lettuce (maybe I’m Korean in my past life). According to Mr Google, Romaine lettuce is an good source of vitamin A (carotenoids), vitamin K, folate, molybdenum, dietary fiber, manganese, potassium, biotin, vitamin B1/2/6, copper, iron, vitamin C, omega-3 fatty acids, phosphorus, chromium, magnesium, calcium, and pantothenic acid. Wow, reading that is making my head spin, I guess you just have to know that it’s EXTREMELY good for you. There.
So we covered Romaine lettuce, and next, my favourite vegetable: Eggplant, or Aubergine, or Brinjal depends where you are from. It’s high in fibre, low in calorie, packed with antioxidants, vitamin B1/6, Niacin, Potassium, Folate, Vitamin K. Only thing is you gotta cook it smart so it doesn’t soak up all the oil. My tip? Salt it beforehand, always works. Then the pork, need I say more? It’s all about balanced meal and here we have abundance of good protein.
Strictly speaking, this dish is not completely guilt free as I’ve used some rock sugar and dark soy sauce (ie not gluten free) but it’s easily adapted to be Paleo if you wish so. But what’s life without a little fun thrown in? I realise this makes me sound like I’m contradicting myself, forgive me; I’m writing this post at 4am. Blame it on the green tea.
So, the recipe.
Pork and Eggplant Lettuce Cup (for 2, or 1 if there isn’t any other accompanying dish)
1 Medium Eggplant
100g Mince Pork
2 cloves Garlic
1 teaspoon Dou Ban Jiang
1 teaspoon Dark Soy Sauce
1 teaspoon Light Soy Sauce
1 small piece of Rock Sugar, about the size of your little pinky’s distal phalanx, for a lack of a better description
2 Chili Padi (obviously adjust to your own taste, I like my food fiery)
Several Romain Lettuce Leaves
Dice Eggplant into 2cm pieces and salt it for 10 minutes. Rinse off the salt and drain well.
Finely mince 2-3 cloves of garlic.
Heat the pan with some oil and add eggplant and garlic.
Stir around until eggplant starts to soften, then add mince pork, followed by Dou ban Jiang, soy sauce, rock sugar and chili padi. Mix everything well and add about 1/2 cup of water and cook for further 3-4 minutes until eggplant is softened and the sauce is significantly reduced. Serve warm with lettuce leaves.
Here comes the fun part! You spoon some of the delicious pork and eggplant mixture onto the lettuce leaf, and then eat while trying not to spill everything.
I make this at least once a week and so far haven’t gotten sick of it yet. Obviously you can switch things around by using diced chicken, mince beef, or other vegetables like zucchini, carrot, mushrooms etc.
Hope you can try this one day!