Yú xiāng literally translates to “Fish-fragrant” eggplant and has nothing to do with fish at all. The legend has it that an old housewife was cooking eggplant for her husband and didn’t want to waste the sauce that was used to cover up the fishiness of a river fish. So she used this sauce over her eggplant and her husband enjoyed it more than the fish dish!
Yú xiāng “fish-fragrant” is an homage to the sauce containing soy sauce, Chinkiang vinegar, sugar, fermented spicy bean paste (dòubànjiàng), chili peppers, fresh garlic, ginger and onion. You’re left with a harmony of sweet & sour, spicy sauce that is bursting with umami. Now that’s how you transform a humble vegetable into a flavor bomb!
My favorite recipe comes from @fushia.dunlop but if I don’t make it at home, I know Trizest Restaurant has me covered! And try as you might, you can’t not order the Mapo Tofu!