The Malaya Szechuan eggplant

20130814 LM The Malaya Szechuan Eggpalnt

Following my post 50 years of feeding Sydney – The Malaya restaurant reaches a milestone – the Executive Chef has kindly shared the recipe for one of my favourite dishes from the 1990s, which is still on the menu today. I like to describe it as ‘pork belly for vegetarians… it is so luscious inside and crisp on the outside’.

The Malaya Szechuan Eggplant


1 litre vegetable or peanut oil for frying
300g eggplant, cut in 4cm x 4cm cubes
200g cornflour
½ teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon minced ginger
30g shallots, cut in 4cm lengths
10g birds eye chilli
40g roasted cashew nuts
5 teaspoons double dark soya sauce
2 teaspoons sugar
Pinch salt
2 teaspoons white vinegar


Heat oil in wok. Wash eggplant, pat dry and coat with cornflour.

When oil is hot, fry eggplant for one and a half minutes or until cooked through. Drain and set aside.

Heat one extra tablespoon of oil in a wok, add garlic, ginger, shallots, birds eye chilli and cashew nuts, stir fry to combine.

Add eggplant, soy sauce, sugar, salt and vinegar and stir fry for another minute or until heated through.

Serve on a bed of blanched English spinach with steamed rice.

Lyndey Milan, Australian home cook hero, combines a thirst for life and a sense of fun with a love of good food and sparkling shiraz. A familiar face on television and in print, she been instrumental in changing the way Australians think and feel about food and wine for over thirty years.

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