- Place the eggplant strips in a colander set over a plate and sprinkle lightly with salt. Leave for 30 mins to draw out moisture.
- Rinse and pat dry with paper towel.
To Prep Batter
- To make the batter, whisk all the ingredients together in a large bowl until smooth.
To Prep Fish-fragrant Dressing:
- Gently fry the chilli bean, pickled chilli, garlic and ginger in vegetable oil until the oil is red and fragrant.
- Add sugar and fry for 20 secs and then add both vinegar.
- Reduce gently until sauce thickens enough to coat the eggplant.
- Taste and add sugar if too salty/sour or add vinegar if too sweet.
- Gently toast the Sichuan pepper in a pan until fragrant and grind to a fine powder (save for garnish later).
To Cook the Eggplant
- Heat the deep-frying oil to 180°C.
- Working in batches, lightly coat the eggplant strips in corn flour then the tempura-like batter.
- Place one at a time, in the hot oil and deep-fry for 4 mins, or until golden and crispy.
- Drain oil on paper towel.
- Transfer the deep-fried eggplant to a bowl and gently toss with dressing.
- Arrange on a serving plate. Sprinkle spring onion and Sichuan pepper to taste and serve.