Mince is cheap, especially pork mince. However, it’s still meat and is more pricey than pulses or in-season vegetables.
A clever cook knows how to bulk out their mince with other ingredients. The meat in a spaghetti bolognese, for instance, can be stretched out with vegetables like onions, tomatoes and carrots.
Sichuan cuisine takes it one step further, turning meat into a side act in favourites like mapo tofu, green beans with pork mince, and ‘fish-fragrant’ eggplant. Making green beans or eggplant the main attraction makes sense, especially when they can cost as little as $2 per kilo.
Unfortunately, I don’t hail from Sichuan and I can’t handle chillies. So instead of Sichuan-style vegetables with pork mince, I’m going to recreate my mother’s mild-mannered eggplant and pork mince stew Continue reading