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Chef’s Favourite: Charcoal Grilled Eggplant & Lemon Prawn

Myanmore “Chef’s Favourite” will introduce a series of dishes made by chefs in Myanmar to inspire your cooking as they will write every recipe themselves to teach you how to make their favourite dishes so that you can follow the instructions exactly and try it out at your own kitchen. This week, we have Chef Htun Htun, Chef & Director of Le Cellier Restaurant at Novotel Yangon Max. Today, he will give his favourite recipe of Charcoal Grilled Eggplant & Lemon Prawn to our readers. 

About Chef Htun Htun

Raised in Pakokku City, a small village located by the banks of the main river of Central Myanmar, Htun Htun made a courageous move to Yangon; keeping an open mind that he would land a dream job at the age of 17 — knowing that if he gave up, he would be stuck and regret it. 

People always say, “Sometimes on the way to a dream you get lost and find a better one way”. Well he bounces around different part-time jobs to survive in the city of Yangon. After two years of making wrong turns changed his path and gave him a new perspective in life.

At 20, he made the biggest decision of his life, an overseas opportunity working in various 5-stars hotels (such as Atlantis The Palm Dubai) and restaurants. It took him 7 years of different working atmospheres in the F&B industry. An adventure that made him realize it was going to be a good story to tell.

Young & talented, as a creative and dynamic element of the notorious Novotel Yangon Max, his passion to continuously learn new trends has turned him into one of the most respected chiefs in the industry today.

With more than 12-years experience, combining his local knowledge with extensive experience and very exciting to share his passion for producing top dishes, created using fresh, local and seasonal ingredients. 

“My dishes are my stories”, Chef Htun Htun repeats.

Dish story

It is a traditional Burmese food from my home town Pakokku in Central Myanmar. You can get the best eggplant especially in winter (month of Nattaw & Pyatho) around December & January. 

And I like the prawns from the Ayeyarwaddy River where I was born & raised in a small village near there in Pakokku Township.

I recreated it with a different way of presenting, without losing the authenticity and flavor as well as referred to my Mom’s recipes. I enjoyed it a lot every time I tried when my mom made it since I was a child. I would say I’ll love it forever.

Instructions & ingredients

Recipe for; 2 portions

Preparation time; 20 minutes

Pros; Healthy food, without prawn itself vegetarian dish, gluten free.The freshest ingredients through simple but beautiful dishes that reflect both culinary tradition and creativity. The result is an imaginative, innovative cuisine that celebrates and respects seasonality.

For Charcoal Grilled Eggplant

  • 2 pcs Eggplant
  • 1 tomato
  • 1 Onion chopped
  • 2 clove Fried Garlic
  • 2-tablespoons Garlic oil
  • 20 gm Roasted peanut crusts
  • 1-tablespoon lemon juice
  • Chopped coriander
  • Salt & pepper
  1. Grilled the whole eggplant on a charcoal grill, make sure not to break the eggplant while grilling to keep the original flavor. Rest for a few minutes to cool a bit.
  2. Cut into half to take inner parts and keep them in a salad mixing bowl.
  3. Add the rest ingredients and just keep them aside to give time to cook prawn. Once prawn is cooked mixed gently  and season with salt & pepper.

For River Prawn

  • 2 pcs River prawn skinless
  • 1-teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 cloves Garlic chopped
  • 1-tablespoons Olive oil
  • 10 gm butter
  • Salt & pepper
  1. Marinated the prawn with lemon juice, salt & pepper. Grilled on pan (in this case I prefer to use charcoal grill or wood fire).
  2. Finish them with butter by caramelizing in a pan.

Plate assembly

Place eggplant mixed eggplant salad on the one side of the plate, add a little bit of garlic oil and crusted peanut on it. Keep the prawn on the other side of the plate, same thing add the butter grazes on top of it to shine up the prawn.

Additional items

Any crackers to get some crispy (in this I used corn cracker) and mint leaves.

Enjoy!

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