Smoky Aubergines, Mushrooms and Original Koji Sauce
35 mins + 2 hour marinade
A smoky aubergine dish, packing flavour and texture. This recipe works as a starter for four people, or as a main dish for two with a side (steamed puy lentils work very well).
How to make
Two large aubergines will make enough for a starter for four, or a main course for two.
Start by cutting the aubergines into 1 inch discs. Mix 50ml Original Koji Sauce, a glug of olive oil and one clove of garlic (chopped, pressed or grated) to make the marinade. Massage the marinade into the aubergine discs, and let this stand for up to two hours. If you leave it in room temperature, the koji will be able to create wonderful complex flavours through its enzyme action - you can prepare this step the day before, but then marinade in the fridge instead.
The next step is to cook the aubergines. A fan assisted oven at 180 C for 40 - 60 minutes until golden, will make the aubergines crispy on the outside but gooey in the middle. If you are rushed, microwaving for five minutes first is a restaurant proven secret that halves the cooking time in the oven.
As the aubergines are cooking, cut the remaining garlic into thin slices and fry in olive oil on low/medium heat until golden and crispy. Be careful as they turn bitter if the heat is too high! When cooked to perfection, fish them out and set aside for garnishing.
This is a good time to prepare the simple sauce for serving - Mix 20ml Yami with 100ml oat crème fraiche, one tablespoon of water, and one tablespoon of your favourite olive oil. To get the split oil effect, either stir roughly or use a cocktail shaker!
When aubergines are almost done, cut the mushrooms into chunks, and fry them in the (now garlicky) pan used for the garlic. Medium/high heat is best here, until golden brown and cooked through.
Nori is delicious straight out of the packet, but it becomes crispier and more fragrant if toasted. Either put it in the oven for a couple of minutes, or if you have a gas cooker carefully warm it over the open flame.
Finally - plate alternating layers of mushrooms and aubergine and fresh leaves of your choice, then drizzle the split sauce. Garnish with the crispy garlic slices and tear a shard of nori for each plate.
2 large aubergines
300 grams of mushrooms (morels, girolles or king oyster are all delicious here)
50ml Original Koji Sauce for marinade, 20ml for sauce
1 small pot oat creme fraiche (or other plant based creme fraiche)
1 leaf of Nori (sushi seaweed)
Peppery leaves (nasturtium, watercress or rocket)