Seafood-stuffed roast peppers and aubergines

Seafood-stuffed roast peppers and aubergines

By
From
Chinese Unchopped
Serves
4
Prep
25 mins
Cooking time
20 mins
Photographer
Martin Poole

This classic Cantonese dish is often made using a filling of dace, a paste of small fish that can be bought in the local markets already made up, seasoned and ready to use. Unfortunately, it is not easy to find this luxury outside of Canton, so to mimic the paste’s texture I like to use a combination of blended prawns and fish – the fish providing the softness, while the prawn gives it the bite. With a speedily whipped together sauce poured over the top, this roasted vegetable dish makes for a great quick and easy dinner.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
100g cod fillet or other white fish fillet, skin off
200g raw prawns, peeled and deveined, (see note)
A pinch salt
A pinch black pepper
2 spring onions
a large handful coriander, plus extra to garnish
1 garlic clove
1 large aubergine
2 red peppers
3 tablespoons cornflour
3 tablespoons vegetable oil

The sauce

Quantity Ingredient
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
1/2 tablespoon light soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
150ml chicken stock
a thumb-size piece ginger

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C. Mix together all the sauce ingredients except the ginger in a bowl and set aside.
  2. Cut the fish fillet into rough pieces before placing in a food processor along with the prawns. Blend together gradually, adding a large pinch each of salt and pepper as you go, until a thick paste forms.
  3. Finely chop the spring onions, coriander and garlic and put in a mixing bowl along with the fish and prawn paste. Mix everything together well.
  4. Cut the aubergine diagonally into 3cm-thick slices, then slice each piece through the skin three-quarters of the way through without cutting the pieces in two (this will effectively make a sandwich, with a pocket for the filling). Place the aubergine pieces in a large bowl filled with salted water and set aside.
  5. Cut the peppers into large wedges leaving the inside membranes intact (they will help to keep the filling in). Dust the inside of each vegetable piece with the cornflour, then stuff each piece with the fish mixture. Once all the vegetable pieces have been filled, pour over 2 tablespoons of the vegetable oil, turning the pieces in it to ensure they are all well coated.
  6. Arrange the peppers filling-side up on a baking tray along with the aubergine pieces and roast them in the oven for 20 minutes, until the filling has become lightly browned and the prawns are coral pink in colour.
  7. Five minutes before serving, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil over a medium heat in a saucepan or wok. Add the ginger and fry for 30 seconds until fragrant, then add the sauce mixture and bring to the boil. Boil for 3–5 minutes, or until reduced by half, then pour over the stuffed vegetables and scatter over some chopped coriander to finish. Serve.

Note

  • To devein a prawn, use a small, sharp knife to make a slit along the middle of the back to expose the dark vein, then pull it out. Alternatively insert a toothpick roughly three-quarters of the way up the back of the prawn and pull the vein up and out of the prawn.

Tip:

  • This seafood mixture works really well as a stuffing for other vegetables such as courgettes or marrows, or even large chillies (just be sure to take the seeds out before stuffing unless you like things ferociously hot!).
Tags:
Chinese
School of Wok
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