One of the most popular dishes you will find on any menu is a good old steak with chips. Seeking inspiration for a vegetarian/vegan alternative, Yeah Boy turned to the humble eggplant. Much loved by many cultures, the eggplant is extremely versatile. When thinking of what could match a meat steak, the eggplant steak at Yeah Boy makes its mark. When smoked on the grill, combined with their unique spice mix, they knew they were onto something pretty special. But the best thing was yet to come, once you cook it in the pan, it begins to transform into something that not only tastes like a steak but even looks like it too. Being candid, yes it doesn’t have the chew factor you would get from a steak on the grill, but it sure does its job in matching flavour! And who doesn’t love chimichurri, pickled onions with a splash of chilli oil.
The Chef behind it all
Saul Finberg, originally from Perth, started out his cooking career at Bistro Guillaume and was trained in a French kitchen. Thereafter he made his way to one of the world’s most awarded kitchens, Dinner by Heston Blumenthal. He has now been working at Yeah Boy since April this year. Saul is very passionate about food and makes sure to add as much flavour into every dish he creates.
The Yeah Boy! Eggplant Steak
4 large eggplants (350-400g each)
5g fennel seed
5g mustard seeds
7g garlic powder
7g cumin powder
30g onion powder
1 red onion
200g white wine vinegar
2 bunches parsley
1 bunch coriander
1 bunch mint
1 red chilli
3 cloves garlic
Salt and pepper
40g corn flour
20g smoked salt
- Char large eggplant (350-400g) on bbq or grill, directly over the fire heat for 2-4 minutes each side. it is very important to not overcook the eggplant like you would for a babaganoush – we just want to be able to remove the skin and impart a smokey flavour
- Set aside to cool down in container and wrap with glad wrap to further steam the eggplant to allow the skin to come off easily. This will also infuse the eggplant with the smokey flavour coming out of the eggplant itself.
- Once cooled down, peel away skin and make sure to remove all charred skin
- Toast fennel seeds, mustard seeds and black pepper in separate pans on medium heat until fragrant/toasted.
- Set aside cool and then blitz in spice grinder until a soft powder has formed.
- Mix in with remaining spices.
- Reserve in a container for later use
- it’s as simple as going down to your local supermarket or Asian grocer and buying your favourite crispy chilli oil. We suggest Laogonma or BACO
- Pick and wash your herbs before drying them well in a salad spinner.
- Add 100ml of your oil, deseed your chilli, add the zest and juice of your lime, garlic cloves and a third of the washed herbs to begin blitzing in your food processor
- Clean the sides of the food processor with your spatula and add another third of the herbs and continue to blitz
- Add the remaining herbs and oil until you have the right consistency
- Season with salt and pepper
Pickled Onions (must be prepared a day in advance)
1 red onion
200g white wine vinegar
- Add water, white wine vinegar and sugar to a saucepan and bring to the boil
- Peel and cut red onion in half
- With a mandoline, slice the ride onion to 1mm thickness. This can also be done with a knife if you finely slice your onion
- Place your finely sliced red onion into a heat resistant container or bowl and pour over your pickle liquid. Set aside to cool
Cooking the Eggplant
- Make sure that your pan is hot and add 10g of oil to the pan
- While your pan is heating up, season your eggplant with smoked salt (or normal salt if you do not have any)
- Season your eggplant liberally with your eggplant steak spice mix
- In the same bowl, cover your seasoned eggplant with 10g of corn flour and make sure it is all covered well.
- Once your pan is hot and has a little bit of smoke coming off, carefully place your eggplant steak in and cook for 5 minutes each side or until you get a nice caramelised “steak” colour all around
- 5 minutes on each side is just a guide. Be sure to add another 10g of oil as needed because the eggplant will continue to soak it in due to its porous nature
- Once cooked, place in the oven for further 5-10 minutes to make sure the centre is hot
- Place your eggplant right of centre on the plate, spoon over as much chilli oil as your heart desires.
- Enjoy with your chimichurri and pickle onions your prepared earlier
- And for some extra flavour, finish with a little sprinkle of smoked salt on top of eggplant if you have