Vietnamese Barbecued Aubergine/eggplant & Lime Coriander Corn

I love aubergines on the barbie and this dish is superb.  I was shown how to make the sweet/sour/salty/hot sauce by a hotel chef in Vietnam and I’ve tried making them in various incarnations. You can make them in advance for an outdoor party as they taste great at room temperature or even cold from the fridge.

Ingredients

1 tblsp             caster sugar

2 tbspn             rice vinegar

2 tbspn             fish sauce

1 clove             garlic peeled and chopped

1                      Thai chilli (hot) chopped finely

2                      Aubergines/eggplants

2                      roasted peanuts, crushed roughly

3-4tbsp             chopped coriander

1                      spring onion (optional) green part only, chopped

Combine the sugar, vinegar, fish sauce, garlic and chilli in a small bowl and set aside.

Prick the aubergine with a fork or you make some light cuts along the length of the aubergine with the tip if a sharp knife for easy peeling later. Don’t forget or it may burst in the heat.

Grill over medium coals or a gas flame tuning regularly until the flesh has softened and the skin is charred. The remove to a rack and allow to cool.

When the aubergines have cooled, split them open.  Mash the softened flesh with a fork a little and then pour on the sauce. Add the chopped coriander and some spring onion and finish with a sprinkling of chopped roasted peanuts.  This dish is best served at room temperature.

Corn with Lime and Coriander butter

A fine flavoured butter to brush onto hot corn cobs. The sharp lime lifts the sweetness of the corn, and contrasts nicely with earthy-ness of the coriander and cracked pepper, finishing off each bite with little salty bursts of Maldon salt crystals. I steamed the cobs as the ‘stair-rods’ of rain stopped play, but this is another excellent one for the barbecue.

4                      corn cobs

75g                  butter

1                      lime, juice and zest

2 tbspns            chopped coriander

Maldon sea salt and cracked black pepper

Barbecue, steam or boil your corn until tender

Meanwhile, zest the lime and set aside.

Melt the butter in a small saucepan for a minute of so.

When ready, remove from heat and add the zest, coriander, salt and pepper. Squeeze in the juice of half the lime. Taste. If the lime is big and juicy this will be enough but if it is one of those tough little dry ones you will need to squeeze in the other half.

Take a pasty brush and brush over the hot corn. Enjoy, with butter running down you chin.

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