Lee ho fook crispy eggplant

Lee ho fook crispy eggplant

Best Kitchen Basics
Petrina Tinslay

This signature vegan dish from Marque alumni Victor Liong, is a combination of Chinese flavours from a traditional Taiwanese ‘fish fragrant’ eggplant sauce. However, it is made like a Korean fried chicken sauce to keep the batter of the eggplant crisp. This dish is a great representation of the cuisine at Victor’s wonderful restaurant, Lee Ho Fook, and its multicultural birth is emblematic of what makes Australian cuisine great.


Quantity Ingredient
vegetable oil, for deep-frying
2 large eggplants
10 coriander stems, chopped
1 long red chilli, seeded and sliced
2 spring onions, sliced

Spiced red vinegar sauce

Quantity Ingredient
460g caster sugar
100g liquid glucose
100ml soy sauce
70g soy paste
1 tablespoon chinese black vinegar
2 teaspoons chilli bean paste
15g fresh ginger, grated
3 garlic cloves, grated
1/2 teaspoon chilli powder
2 teaspoons sichuan chilli paste
1 long red chilli, chopped
60ml red rice vinegar
1/2 teaspoon ground sichuan peppercorns

Crispy batter

Quantity Ingredient
60g rice flour
60g tapioca starch
10g xanthan gum

Sesame salt

Quantity Ingredient
20g toasted sesame seeds
1 teaspoon sea salt


  1. To make the spiced red vinegar sauce, put the sugar and glucose in a large saucepan over medium heat and bring to the boil slowly, whisking to combine and dissolve the sugar. Increase the heat to medium–high and cook until it forms a light caramel. Add the remaining sauce ingredients and 1 teaspoon salt and stir to combine. Bring back to the boil then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes.
  2. To make the crispy batter, blend 550 ml water with the rice flour, tapioca starch, xanthan gum and 5 g salt together in a high-speed blender to make a smooth, thick batter.
  3. To make the sesame salt, blend the ingredients in a spice grinder to a coarse grain.
  4. Preheat a deep-fryer or fill a large saucepan one-third full with vegetable oil and heat to 180°C.
  5. Peel the eggplants and cut them into eighths lengthways.
  6. Dip the eggplant strips in the batter and shake off any excess. Gently lower the strips into the hot oil, working with five to eight pieces at a time, and cook until golden and crispy, which will take around 5–10 minutes.
  7. Transfer the eggplant to a bowl, add the sauce and stir gently to completely coat the eggplant pieces. Arrange the pieces on a serving plate and scatter over the chopped coriander stems, chilli and spring onion. Sprinkle over the sesame salt and serve immediately.
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