1 large eggplant
2 cups panko breadcrumbs
½ cup plain flour
2 eggs, lightly whisked
vegetable oil for deep frying
1 tsp sesame seeds
1/3 cup honey
3 tbsp vinegar
2 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp corn flour (cornstarch) mixed with 2 tbsp water
Trim and discard the eggplant stem. Then trim the eggplant so that it is almost a neat rectangle. Then cut into roughly 3cm cubes. Place the eggplants pieces into a colander set over a bowl and season with salt. Allow to sit for about 10 minutes.
To make the honey sauce, heat the honey, vinegar and soy sauce in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Simmer gently for about a minute. Then stir through the corn flour mixture and simmer for another minute until thickened. Set aside until ready to serve.
Even out the panko crumbs by using a mortar and pestle to gentle grind and pound them. Alternatively use a ziplock bag and rolling pin.
Place the breadcrumbs, flour and eggs into separate shallow plates.
Dip each piece of eggplant into the flour, then egg and then coat with the breadcrumbs.
Fill a saucepan or wok to about 1/3 capacity with the vegetable oil. Heat over high heat. The oil is hot enough at 165°C/325°F or when a wooden spoon dipped into the oil forms small little bubbles.
Cook the eggplant in batches in the hot oil until golden. Drain on paper towel.
To serve, pile the eggplant nuggets onto a plate. Drizzle with the honey sauce (warm it gently on the stovetop if it’s too thick). And sprinkle with sesame seeds.