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1 tbsp avocado oil
1 thumb sized piece ginger
2-3 spring onions
2 garlic cloves
2 × large aubergines
approximately 450ml vegetable stock (fresh or bags, not cubes)
3 cubes of fermented tofu, plus 1 tbsp of fermented tofu liquid
2 tbsp dark soy sauce
1 tbsp chinkiang black rice vinegar
1 tbsp palm sugar
1 tsp sesame oil
For the sauce, put the fermented tofu and liquid into a small ramekin and crush with the base of a teaspoon to form a paste, then mix together with the dark soy sauce, black vinegar, sugar and sesame oil.
Hard-boil the eggs and then peel them. Once peeled, cut three small lines vertically into each egg while keeping them whole – this allows the sauce to soak through the eggs while they are braising.
Roughly chop the ginger, spring onion & garlic.
Heat a heavy based pan or pot with avocado oil, lay the cut pieces of aubergine matte side down so they become golden brown, once they are, remove them from the base of the pan and repeat until they are all done.
Turn down the heat and add in the ginger and garlic, cook for one minute until fragrant, then add in the sauce and stock and bring up to the boil. Next, place the aubergine back into the sauce along with the eggs and bring the heat down to a simmer. Simmer away until the aubergine has softened, but the pieces are all still intact and the sauce has thickened and reduced by half.
Swapsies: If you cannot find fermented tofu, swap out the tofu with one of the hardboiled egg yolks, making a paste out of the yolk instead. The texture will thicken the sauce, much like the tofu does, giving the dish its silky finish.