1 lb aubergines
1-1/2 Tbsp sesame oil
1-2 tsp chili oil
2 Tbsp finely chopped garlic
1-1/2 Tbsp finely chopped fresh ginger
3 Tbsp finely chopped spring onions (scallions)
2 Tbsp light soy sauce
1 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp Chinese black vinegar
Handful of fresh coriander sprigs (optional)
Cut the aubergines into 2-inch squares. Do not peel them.
Next, set up a steamer or put a rack into a wok and fill it with 2 inches of water. Bring the water to the boil over a high heat. Put the aubergines onto a heatproof plate and carefully lower it into the steamer or onto the rack. Turn the heat to low and cover the wok tightly. Steam gently for 30-40 minutes or until the aubergines are very soft to the touch. When they are cooked, remove from the wok, transfer to a platter and allow to cool thoroughly. (Can be prepared ahead up to this point; cover and refrigerate the aubergines for up to 24 hours. Bring back to room temperature before completing the recipe.)
Now, make the sauce. Wipe the wok clean and reheat it. When it is hot, add the sesame and chili oils. When they are very hot and slightly smoking, add the garlic and stir-fry for 40 seconds.
Add the rest of the ingredients, mix thoroughly, and stir-fry for 1 minute. Remove the wok from the heat and allow the sauce to cool.
When you are ready to serve, pour the sauce evenly over the aubergines and toss well. Garnish with the coriander if using and serve at once at room temperature.