This is a traditional street food that can be found on most street vendors’ stalls in Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao, especially in the busy shopping districts, attracting hungry shoppers and people succumbing to a snack on their way home from work. Three of a kind usually includes aubergine, peppers and tofu, filled with a minced prawn mixture, pierced with a bamboo stick for ease of eating on the go, to be dipped in a sauce such as soy sauce, chilli sauce or oyster sauce. Vendors have now expanded their offering to include stuffed mushrooms, bitter melon and sausage. I always try to buy the biggest pieces possible and ensure they are charred to bring out the sweetness of the aubergine, pepper or mushroom.
Ingredients for Three Fried Stuffed Treasures
1 green pepper, deseeded and cutinto quarters
4 large button mushrooms
2 eggs, beaten
3 tbsp potato starch
vegetable oil for deep-frying
200g/7oz raw peeled king prawns(shrimp), deveined
300g/10 1/2oz minced(ground) pork
2 egg whites
2 tbsp Shaoxing rice wine
1 tsp salt
1 tsp caster(superfine) sugar
1/4 tsp ground white pepper
1 tbsp sesame oil
Three Fried Stuffed Treasures Recipe
To make the filling, combine the prawns, pork, egg whites, wine, salt, sugar and pepper in a food processor and blitz to a smooth paste. Add the sesame oil and blitz briefly to combine.
Cut the aubergine into four thick slices (about 4-5cm/1 1/2-2in lengths) and scoop out some of the fesh. Press 1 1/2 teaspoons of the filling inside each piece of aubergine. Dip into the beaten egg and then into the potato starch to coat. This will help the filling to stay in place.
Put 1 1/2 teaspoons of the filling onto each piece of green pepper, press down gently, then coat in beaten egg and potato starch as for the aubergine.
Pull the stalks out of the mushrooms, leaving a hollow centre. Put 1 1/2 teaspoons of the filling into each mushroom, then coat in beaten egg and potato starch.
Put all the filled vegetables into the fridge for 10 minutes to firm up.
Half-fill a wok or saucepan with vegetable oil. Heat the oil to 180°C/350°F; if you don’t have a cooking thermometer, test by dipping a wooden chopstick or wooden spoon into the oil, if bubbles immediately form around the chopstick, the oil is hot enough. If it is not, it will make this dish soggy. Put the filled aubergine, green pepper and mushrooms into the hot oil and use a slotted spatula or spider to hold the pieces under the oil. Cook for 5-8 minutes until the filling is cooked and firm to the touch.(Cook in batches to prevent the oil from dropping in temperature.) Drain on paper towels and serve with soy sauce or oyster sauce.
1.When buying chilies look for large 6-7″ long chilies. If you prefer less spicy get bigger fatter chilies and if you like a bit of heat, the smaller the chili the hotter.
2.If you have any filling left over it can be shaped into balls and deep-fried, to enjoy along with the filled vegetables.