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Korean-style aubergines with spring onions and sesame rice

Korean-style aubergines make a great mid-week dinner and perfect if you are reducing the amount of meat you eat.

“In the traditional Korean dish, aubergines are steamed for just seven minutes before you gently stir in the red pepper and sesame dressing. In this version, I let the oven steam the aubergines, while fresh basmati rice and cabbage cook underneath for a simple and filling all-in-one dish,” explains food writer and stylist, Rukmini Iyer.

“Gochugaru, or Korean red pepper flakes, are easily available online, at specialist shops, and even miraculously on Amazon – they really make the dish, and once you have a jar, you’ll find yourself scattering the flakes on everything (scrambled eggs are my favourite).”


(Serves 4)

200g basmati rice, rinsed

2 cloves of garlic, unpeeled

2 leeks, or 1 small Chinese cabbage, thinly sliced

400ml vegetable stock

1tbsp sesame oil

2 aubergines, cut into 1.5cm slices

1tsp sea salt flakes

3 fat spring onions, very thinly sliced

1tbsp sesame seeds

For the dressing:

15g Korean red pepper flakes (gochugaru)

30ml sesame oil

30ml rice vinegar

30ml soy sauce

5cm ginger, grated

1 clove of garlic, finely grated


1. Preheat the oven to 210°C fan/230°C/gas 8.

2. Tip the rice and garlic into a wide lidded casserole dish or a medium roasting tin, then evenly cover with the sliced leeks or Chinese cabbage. Pour over the vegetable stock and sesame oil, then lay the aubergines over the top in one layer. Scatter over the sea salt, cover with the lid or very tightly with foil (this is important or the rice won’t cook properly), then transfer to the oven and bake for 30 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, mix the dressing ingredients together. As soon as you take the tin out of the oven, remove the lid or foil and dress the aubergines with the red pepper dressing.

4. Scatter over the spring onions and sesame seeds and serve hot.

The Roasting Tin Around The World by Rukmini Iyer, photography by David Loftus, is published by Square Peg, priced £16.99. Available now.

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