Asian ratatouille

Asian ratatouille

Real Food by Mike
Alan Benson

This ratatouille is delicious served with steamed fish, but equally good with chicken, or with lamb chops from the barbecue. You can cut the vegetables as chunky or as fine as you like, depending on the effect you are looking for. I find that if they’re cut small this dish goes better with delicate textures like fish. However, if they’re chunkier, you can roast this in the oven and it’s heartier for serving with chicken or lamb.


Quantity Ingredient
500g tomatoes
150g eggplants, seeds removed, diced, salted in a colander for 30 minutes and drained
150g zucchini, diced, salted in a colander for 30 minutes and drained
90ml extra-virgin olive oil
150g brown onions, finely diced
150g red capsicums, finely diced
150g green capsicums, finely diced
180g bean sprouts
1/4 bunch spring onion, cut into thin strips
1 bunch coriandar sprigs


Quantity Ingredient
2 teaspoons chilli flakes
1 tablespoon sichuan pepper
1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
75g fresh ginger, peeled and crushed
75g garlic, peeled and crushed
150g palm sugar
75ml soy sauce
200ml chinese vinegar
75ml chilli oil


  1. For the sauce, in a large frying pan over medium heat, sauté the chilli flakes and sichuan pepper in the oil for 1 minute. Add the ginger and garlic and stir-fry until fragrant. Add the palm sugar, soy sauce and Chinese vinegar and stir well to dissolve the palm sugar. Remove the pan from the heat, stir in the chilli oil and set aside until needed.
  2. For the vegetables, peel the tomatoes and remove the seeds, reserving the juice to use later. Dice the tomato flesh and set aside.
  3. In a large ovenproof frying pan over medium heat, fry the eggplant and zucchini in the oil for 5 minutes until golden. Add the onion and capsicum and sauté for a further 10 minutes until tender. Add the tomato and simmer for another 2 minutes, before pouring in the reserved tomato juice and adding some freshly ground black pepper. Simmer for 5 minutes to reduce.
  4. From here you can choose to reduce it down even more on the stove top to form a very thick jam or, if you have cut the vegetables larger, you can bake it at 225°C to cook it down and caramelise it.
  5. Once cooked down and thick, fold through the sauce, garnish with the bean sprouts, spring onion and coriander and serve.

Medicinal Benefit

  • Asian ingredients are packed with medicinal benefits. Sichuan peppercorns, for example, are rich in vitamin B6 (called pyridoxine), which influences cognitive abilities and immune function. Ginger contains gingerol, a potent anti- inflammatory compound. Coriander is full of compounds called polyphenols, which have both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
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