Gong Xi Fa Cai, Happy Chinese New Year 2015!

I try to cook different cuisines and test new things. A celebration, such as the Chinese New Year is always a good time to try new things out. Last year I was more ambitious and cooked up a whole buffet. This year I thought perhaps one dish would be enough. There was a Chinese restaurant near where I lived in London, they are sadly closed, and they had a dish with pork and aubergine that I loved. Lately I seem to have a bit of an aubergine crush and this seemed like a perfect time to cook it so here we go.

I searched online for a recipe but nothing seemed quite right. having thought about this dish I started to really feel a craving for it. The first thing I identified as a key ingredient was chilli bean paste and I headed off to the Asian grocery store to get some. As soon as I opened the jar I knew I had the right ingredient. I used a recipe that I thought was the closest but it turned out that it needed, well, more of everything. It was tasty but not enough for me. I served it with rice.


Pork with aubergine 20Feb_Dish


I have to admit I was a bit disappointed so I did something that I haven’t done before, I cooked it again the day after. This time I changed some of the ingredients and the proportions to get the flavours going.


Chinese Aubergines

preparation time 15 minutes

cooking time 10 – 15 minutes

serves 4


  • 2 firm aubergines
  • 2 onions
  • 1 dl or 1/2 cup oyster sauce
  • 1 dl or 1/2 cup chilli bean paste
  • 1 tbsp ketjap manis
  • 1/2 dl or 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tbsp grated ginger
  • 1 tbsp grated garlic
  • 1 tbsp molasses or brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp chilli flakes (optional)
  • 2 dl or 1 cup of chicken stock
  • 4 tbsp oil
  • 2 tbsp corn starch + a little cold water to dissolve it in for thickening
  • coriander for garnish

Chop the onions and cut the aubergine, pan fry in oil until the aubergine is just starting to soften slightly. Add the grated ginger and garlic and stir for a minute. Add the oyster sauce, the bean paste, the ketjap manis, the soy sauce, vinegar and the brown sugar. Bring to a simmer and add the chicken stock. Let simmer for 5 minutes and taste. Add chilli flakes if you want more heat and add salt and pepper to taste if you wish. Mix the corn starch with some cold water and add, let simmer for an additional few minutes before serving.


I didn’t make the lion head meatballs but a meatloaf. I had turkey mince and added spices to mirror the aubergine dish. I had some rice left over that I added to the meatloaf.


Chinese turkey meatloaf

preparation time 10 minutes

cooking time 45 minutes

oven 175C or 350F

serves 3-4


  • 500 gr or 18 oz turkey mince
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup rice
  • 1 tbsp ketjap manis
  • 2 tbsp chilli bean paste
  • 1 tbsp grated ginger
  • 1 tsp grated garlic (about 1 clove)
  • salt & pepper

Mix all of the ingredients in a bowl. Butter or oil an oven proof dish and shape the mixture to a meatloaf. Turkey is a very lean meat so I shaved a little cold butter on top, just to keep the meatloaf moist and get a nice surface. Place in the oven and cook for 40-45 minutes.




The cooked meatloaf 20Feb_CookedMeatloaf


Slice the meatloaf and serve with the aubergine




I did a big plate of fruit for dessert. I bought ramubtan, the cutest fruit you can find.






It wasn’t quite a banquet but what a great excuse to cook some Chinese and I finally have my aubergine dish. I liked it better without the pork but I am sure mushrooms would have worked, perhaps next time.




9 Responses to “Gong Xi Fa Cai, Happy Chinese New Year 2015!”
  1. Wow! This looks incredible!

  2. Loretta says:

    Gorgeous Petra, what a treat! Happy Chinese New Year 🙂

  3. Lily Lau says:

    Happy Chinese New Year, Petra! Love these things 😀

  4. Ginger says:

    What a feast you cooked up! This looks delicious – happy new Chinese year 🙂

  5. skd says:

    The meat loaf looks delicious and i agree ramubtan is not only cute looking but also tasty.

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