• Serves: 1 1/2 cups of dip, 9 aubergine slices
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cooking Time: 20 minutes
  • Difficulty: EASY

Beans are a fabulous source of dietary fibre, protein, folate, phosphorus, iron, copper, magnesium, manganese, potassium and vitamin K. The protein and fibre duo in beans makes them particularly good for health. The Japanese twist makes them particularly delicious.

Our busy lifestyles often mean we often opt for convenience over nutritional value. It can be hard balancing time, energy, cost, health and taste when we have a hungry family to feed. But what if there was a quick, nutritious, delicious, filling, versatile and fibre-filled food that was also quite cheap? Well, that hero ingredient is the humble bean.

In this recipe I have introduced Japanese flavours and oven-roasted aubergine to my carton of black beans. Sometimes it is hard to get in the blue and purple foods –we think blueberries and that is about it –so this black bean and aubergine recipe will colour in your daily food rainbow very nicely.

This is lovely as a dip with baked panko-crusted aubergine slices, vegetable batons, tortilla chips or crispbreads. It’s also fab in a roll or wrap with extra vegetables, and spread onto a tortilla as the filling –with cheese –for a quesadilla. Do play with the seasoning: if you’re making this with children in mind, perhaps leave out the chilli. Also, I’ve used seaweed flakes as they’re super healthy and salty flavoured without the salt, but substitute with a good pinch of salt if this admittedly odd ingredient eludes you. I think this would be a great dip to serve at a Halloween party.


here's what you'll need...

  • 1 large aubergine firm and unmarked, cut in half
  • 1 tbsp + extra 1 tsp rapeseed oil, divided use
    Oil spray
  • 3-4 spring onions, chopped
  • 1 fat clove garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1 x 400g carton or tin of black beans, drained and well-rinsed (the rinsing reduces “digestive discomfort”)
  • 2 tsp toasted sesame oil
  • A pinch of cayenne pepper OR shichimi togarashi Japanese seasoning – optional
  • 1 ½ tsp seaweed flakes, ¼ sheet of dried nori seaweed (what you roll up sushi with) OR ½ tsp salt
  • Juice of half a small lemon
  • 40g panko crumbs (Japanese-style dried breadcrumbs) OR dried unflavoured breadcrumbs
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds (I used black and white ones, but all the same colour is fine)




Do play with the seasoning: if you’re making this with children in mind, perhaps leave out the chilli.

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here's how it's done...

  • 1

    First of all preheat the oven to 200C (180C fan). Place a baking tray in the oven to heat. Cut one half of the aubergine into rounds about ½ cm thick. Chop the remaining half into evenly-sized batons or cubes, these will be blended in the dip so don’’t worry too much about prettiness.


  • 2

    Lightly slick the aubergine rounds on each side with ½ tablespoon of the oil. Pour the breadcrumbs and sesame seeds onto a plate, mix them up and then press the oiled rounds onto them, turning and pressing on the crumbs. Set aside on a plate or tray.


  • 3

    Toss the aubergine batons or cubes in the remaining ½ tablespoon of oil. Pull the tray from the oven and add the batons at one end and the crumbed slices at the other. Gently spritz the aubergine slices with oil spray. Bake the aubergines in the oven for 20 minutes, –flipping all at 15 minutes – or until the slices are browned and the batons/cubes are golden.

    Black Bean Dip Steps

  • 4

    While the aubergines are baking, heat the ½ teaspoon of rapeseed oil in a small pan and sauté the chopped spring onion and garlic until softened –after about 3 minutes. Now it’s time to blend the dip! Add the drained black beans, spring onions, garlic, roasted aubergine batons, sesame oil, cayenne pepper (to taste), seaweed flakes or salt and lemon juice. Pulse in the blender or food processor until you reach your desired consistency. I like mine with a bit of texture.


  • 5

    Serve with the baked aubergine “chips”, vegetable batons, crispbreads or spread into a roll with extra veggies.




By Kellie Anderson on 22.10.15

Guest Contributor

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