Taste the World: Charred Eggplant, Mushroom XO Noodles

Experience what the world has to offer with a recipe from acclaimed Chef Mitchell Orr. As part of our Taste Dining at Home series, in partnership with Taste Festivals, we’ve invited globally renowned chefs to create recipes to help you make the most out of every day at home. 

To follow along with Chef Mitch as he makes the full recipe, watch the video below. And to find Chef Palisa’s guava panna cotta recipe also featured in this video, click here.

Charred Eggplant, Mushroom XO Noodles

By Mitchell Orr

What You’ll Need (Serves 4)

100 g dried shiitake mushrooms
200 g fresh shiitake mushrooms
50 g mushroom floss
1 packet enoki
250 g long red chili
500 g garlic, peeled
150 g ginger, peeled
500 ml shao tsing
50 g shio kombu
1 L vegetable oil
100 ml red wine vinegar
200 ml light soy
100 g brown sugar
2 eggplants
Half bunch red holy basil
500 g alkaline noodles

How to Prepare It

Soak the dried shiitake mushrooms in hot water until they rehydrate, about an hour. Blitz or finely chop.

Blitz or roughly chop the fresh shiitake mushrooms and the enoki.

Blitz the long red chili.

Blitz the peeled garlic and peeled ginger.

Sauté the blitzed ginger, garlic and chilies in a large, heavy-based pot over a medium to high heat. Once they start to color and become fragrant, add all the mushrooms.

Continue to sauté until the mushrooms are cooked and beginning to color.

Deglaze with the remaining shao tsing and remaining liquid from soaking the dried shiitake. Reduce the liquid by ⅔.

Turn the heat down to low to medium and add the vegetable oil and the shio kombu. Allow the xo to simmer gently for at least an hour, preferably 3. Stir occasionally to ensure the xo isn’t sticking or burning.

Once the xo is cooked, season it with the light soy, sugar and red wine vinegar.

While the xo is simmering, grill the whole eggplants over charcoal or a hot grill. Allow the skins to char and burn the whole way around. If the eggplant needs more cooking to become completely soft and luscious, place it in an oven at 355° F for another 15-20 minutes, or until completely cooked. Peel all the skin and discard it. Tear the eggplant flesh up into nice little strips.

To compose the dish:
• Warm the xo in a pot along with the eggplant.

• Cook the noodles in plenty of salted boiling water. Once cooked, add the noodles to the xo and mix well. Check the seasoning! Toss the basil through at the very last minute.

• Serve immediately.