Texturally they are really pleasing; I find twice cooking them is the best way to get them meltingly tender rather than spongy and squeaky. It's also unnecessary to salt them to get rid of their bitterness, as modern technology means it's been bred out of them. I have found that salting them means that they soak up less oil, if you're trying to be health conscious.
Pork and aubergine is a great combination. Already, Fish Fragrant Aubergines is one of my favourite dishes and so I'm always keen to try this combination with different flavourings. Originally this recipe instructed to prick the aubergine and roast it for 45 minutes until collapsed, then to peel it and scrape the flesh out to spread the mince over. Either way is as good, but this is a little quicker.
Vietnamese Spicy Pork & Aubergine
1 large aubergine, chopped into large chunks
250gr minced pork
3 cloves of garlic, minced
3 red birds eye chillis, deseeded and chopped
2 stalks of spring onion, sliced finely
3 tbsp fish sauce
1 tbsp sugar
Small bunch of coriander and mint, finely chopped.
In a non stick pan, fry the aubergine chunks in oil until it's browned on both sides. Remove and set to one side. Heat some oil up in a wok or a non-stick pan and fry the garlic and chilli until fragrant. Add the pork mince and fry until browned, then add the aubergine chunks back in. Stir fry on a high heat and add the spring onions. Add the fish sauce and the sugar. When the aubergines are completely cooked, take off the heat and add the herbs and the lime juice. Serve with rice.
This a great recipe; the fish sauce imparts a really great savoury depth to it, whilst the mint and the lime juice really makes it taste very fresh. The chilli isn't too overpowering; I often add more when just cooking for myself as I like it rather fiery.