I was privileged to meet my facebook foodie friend Hee Heng, recently, in Melbourne.
We were introduced by my late brother in law Alan Chionh via facebook when Hee Heng started a new venture as restaurateur and head chef of Chuup restaurant, in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
After an illustrious career, he cashed out of a business he owned and retired.
“Sharing my mom's family cooking was something I always wanted to do and my retirement gave me the time to pursue what I love to do.” he said.
His family and mine spent some happy times together, dining and discussing food, watching the fairy penguins at St Kilda beach, drinking in the views before lunch at Mt Dandenong Observatory and enjoying afternoon tea at the famed Acland St.
In between there were visits to pay respects to Alan's niche at the cemetery, a pho lunch, ice cream at Williamstown and of course, shopping at Chadstone.
Here is his contribution to my recipe section.
“Brinjal, aubergine, terung, eggplant, keo, aikua.
“Call it what you will, this vegetable is a favourite the world over.
“There are a hundred ways to cook it. I like my brinjal soft and smooth and depending on my mood, I like it super spicy, sweet savoury sour, salty savoury, or Western style.
“Today, I cooked it with the condiments that were available and it turned out great!” said Hee Heng.
Do try his recipe.
Spicy saucy aubergine
1 large or two small aubergines, cut into short sticks
1 tbsp minced ginger
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 tbsp dau see (fermented black beans) mashed to a paste. Or use taucheo.
2 tbsp Lauganma chili paste. Or use your favourite brand.
1 tbsp tomato sauce
1 tbsp light soya sauce
½ tsp sugar
2 tsp cornflour mixed with a little water to thicken sauce
Steam aubergine until soft.
Heat 3 tbsp oil over high heat.
Lower heat to medium and stir fry the ginger, then add in garlic.
Add bean paste and chili paste and stir fry over low flame until aromatic.
Then add in the steamed aubergine.
Add the rest of the sauce ingredients, bring to the boil and thicken with cornstarch solution.
Serve immediately with steamed rice or blanched noodles.
Hee Heng is proprietor and Papa Chef at Chuup, Jalan SS 22/25 Damansara Jaya 47400, Petaling Jaya, Malaysia.
Phone +60 3-7733 6673.