This appetizer appears to be professionally prepared, yet it is really easy and simply takes 10 mins to create.
Eggplant Chrysanthemum is a dish created by the Han Chinese (漢族). The traditional way is to cut the eggplant into sections, cross-cut the surface so that the eggplants expand into a daisy-like shape. The edible flowers will then be dusted with flour before being deep fried in boiling oil. The dish is usually served with a sweet, sour tomato sauce.
This recipe here is a healthier adaptation of the dish, using the steaming method instead of deep frying. The sauce is also replaced with something spicy, to give the appetizer a kick. You can also practice more with your cutting technique.
- 1 Eggplant
- 1-2 cloves Garlic
- 1 tbsp Chili sauce/ Chili paste / XO sauce
- 1 tbsp Light soy sauce
- 3 tbsp Black vinegar / Balsamic vinegar
- Oil / Sesame oil
- Remove the head and tail of the eggplant. Cut it into uniform sections. The longer the sections are, the larger the chrysanthemums will be.
- Take one section and place it vertically in between two chopsticks. This way it won’t be easily cut through the bottom.
- To create thinner petals, cut the eggplant into very thin slices.
- Turn the eggplant 90 degrees and slice again to obtain a plaid pattern
- Place the eggplants on a plate and gentle flatten them into a chrysanthemum shape
- Peel the garlic cloves and mash them. Add in some salt and light soy sauce. Mix well.
- Place the garlic mixture in the flower core.
- Steam the dish for 6-7 minutes.
- Tidy up the shape of the eggplant chrysanthemums. Place 1 tbsp XO sauce / chili sauce at the flower cores, topped with balsamic vinegar.
- Pour sesame oil over the eggplant. Or heat up some oil in a pan until smoke can be seen and then pour it over the eggplant.
- Add salt into garlic to create a well-blended flavour and o prevent garlic from jumping around while mashing.