500g white fish, roughly chopped (I used lemon fish/rig)
2 cloves garlic
3 spring onions, roughly chopped
¾ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon oil
2 teaspoons cornflour
1 teaspoon soy sauce
2 teaspoons Shaoxing wine
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 tablespoons black bean chilli sauce (I used Lao Gan Ma brand)
500ml water
2 tablespoons cornflour
2 teaspoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons Shaoxing wine
½ teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon sesame oil
chillies, halved lengthwise, seeds removed
capsicums, cut into quarters (or smaller wedges if large)
eggplant, ideally skinny, cut diagonally into 5mm slices
fresh shiitake, stems removed
tofu puffs
cornflour, for dusting
vegetable oil, for frying

These are based on a yum cha favourite of pork-and-fish-stuffed vegetables with a black bean sauce. Preparation here is minimal if you use a food processor. If you want to increase the quantities, process the fish in small batches and make sure that you chill the processor bowl and blade as you want to avoid warming the fish. I make more sauce than is strictly required, but it does keep well and improves your next stir fry immensely. The fish mix is also great shaped into small balls and poached in broth or for a laksa.

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2.Put all the ingredients into a food processor and process until well combined. Chill until required.
4.Put all the ingredients in a saucepan and boil for 2-3 minutes, whisking until thickened.
6.Lightly dust the insides of the vegetables with a little cornflour. This will help the fish paste stick to the vegetables.
7.For the eggplant, dust the whole slice, then wet one side with a little water which will help the paste to adhere.
8.Stuff the vegetables with the fish paste.
9.If using tofu puffs, use your finger or a chopstick to poke a hole into the puff and stuff with the fish paste. Keep refrigerated until required.
10.If making a large number, pan-fry for 3 minutes fish-side down to colour, flip over for a few more minutes then transfer to bamboo steamers fish-side up and steam for 3-4 minutes.
11.Eggplant and capsicums may take a little longer, around 6-7 minutes.
12.If using tofu puffs, steam for around 10 minutes.
13.Remove vegetables from the steamer, put onto a platter and serve the sauce alongside or drizzled over lightly.
14.If making a smaller amount, after browning the vegetables add a little water to the pan and cook, covered, until tender.
15.Once the vegetables have been removed, I add the sauce ingredients to the pan, cook until thickened, then pour the lot over the vegetables.
16.Serve with rice for something more substantial.
18.Make a tofu-shiitake paste instead of the fish paste.
19.In a food processor, blitz 100g fresh shiitake with 2 cloves garlic, then fry in 1-2 tablespoons vegetable oil until golden.
20.Cool and put back into the food processor with 300g firm tofu, 3 roughly chopped spring onions, 1 teaspoon nori flakes (optional), 1 tablespoon cornflour, 1 teaspoon soy sauce and 2 teaspoons Shaoxing wine.
21.Blitz to a fine paste. Proceed as for the main recipe.

Recipes & food styling Ginny Grant / Photography Aaron McLean / Styling Fiona Lascelles