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Ratatouille Chinese-style

  • 125 g (4½ oz) courgettes
  • 125 g (4½ oz) aubergine
  • 125 g (4½ oz) small chestnut, oyster or shiitake mushrooms
  • 125 g (4½ oz) tomatoes, peeled, deseeded and cut into small dice
  • 125 g (4½ oz) canned water chestnuts, drained and sliced
  • 1 tablespoon black bean sauce
  • 1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
  • 2 tablespoons dry sherry
  • A few drops of Tabasco sauce
  • 1 teaspoon red or white wine vinegar
  • Put a kettle on to boil. To make the dressing, put all the ingredients into a bowl, mix together and set aside.
  • Heat the grill to high. Cut the courgettes in half lengthways and then into 2 cm (# in) chunks. Blanch them in boiling water for 2 minutes, then drain and refresh them under running cold water. Dry them on kitchen paper.
  • Cut the aubergine into 1 cm (½ in) slices. Cook the slices on a baking tray under the grill for 3 minutes on each side, or until they are tender. Leave them to cool, then cut them into quarters.
  • Grill the mushrooms for 5 minutes, turning occasionally, then set them aside to cool.
  • Put the vegetables into a serving dish and add the tomatoes and water chestnuts. Pour the dressing over them, mix well and set aside to marinate for 20 minutes for the flavours to blend (do not refrigerate).
  • As a salad, serve the ratatouille at room temperature. As a side dish, tip the dressed salad into a hot, nonstick wok or frying pan and stir-fry over a high heat for 5-8 minutes, until steaming hot. Serve with stir-fried meat, fish or poultry dishes, or with rice as a vegetarian meal.