Appetiser For The Eyes

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


  1. Remove the head and tail of the eggplant. Cut it into uniform sections. The longer the sections are, the larger the chrysanthemums will be.
  2.  Take one section and place it vertically in between two chopsticks. This way it won’t be easily cut through the bottom.
  3. To create thinner petals, cut the eggplant into very thin slices.
  4. Turn the eggplant 90 degrees and slice again to obtain a plaid pattern
  5. Place the eggplants on a plate and gentle flatten them into a chrysanthemum shape
  6. Peel the garlic cloves and mash them. Add in some salt and light soy sauce. Mix well.
  7. Place the garlic mixture in the flower core.
  8. Steam the dish for 6-7 minutes.
  9. Tidy up the shape of the eggplant chrysanthemums. Place 1 tbsp XO sauce / chili sauce at the flower cores, topped with balsamic vinegar.
  10. 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.




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