1tablespoonblack vinegar, or vinegar of your choice
⅛teaspoonsalt, (a pinch)
For the oyster mushrooms:
8-12oyster mushrooms, (2-3 per burger, depending on size)
½cupcornflour, (cornstarch) or rice flour
½teaspoonground black pepper
Cooking oil, for frying
Fresh coriander (cilantro)
Red onion, thinly sliced
Your favourite mayo or aioli
For the black burger buns:
Dissolve the sugar in ¾ cup of warm water. Add yeast, and set aside for 5-10 minutes until it starts to foam up a bit.
Mix flour, salt and activated charcoal together in a mixing bowl.
Stir sesame oil into the water and yeast mixture, then pour into the mixing bowl. Bring together into a dough.
Tip dough onto a floured surface and knead for 10 minutes, until the dough is smooth and elastic.
Put the dough into a lightly oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm place to rise for an hour (or until doubled in size).
Preheat oven to 180C (350F) fan bake.
Remove dough from the bowl and use a knife to cut it into four even portions. Lightly knead each portion and form it into a smooth bun shape. Arrange buns on a baking tray and set aside for another 20-30 minutes to rise a little again before baking.
Bake buns for 20 minutes, remove from the oven and allow to cool a little before serving.
For the spicy eggplant:
Trim tops off eggplant and slice into thinnish pieces.
Heat cooking oil and sesame oil in a frypan (skillet) over medium-high heat. Add eggplant to the pan and cook until it is starting to colour.
Add garlic, ginger, sliced chilli and chilli powder. Cook, stirring, until fragrant and softened.
Add ½ cup of water, black vinegar, sugar and a pinch of salt. Cook for another few minutes until the water has mostly evaporated and the mixture is very soft, thick and glossy.
Set aside until ready to serve.
For the oyster mushrooms:
Mix cornflour, salt and pepper in a bowl.
Add a shallow layer of cooking oil to a large frypan (skillet) and bring to a medium-high heat.
One by one, dredge oyster mushrooms in the cornflour mixture and add to the frypan. Fry until golden brown on both sides (turning as needed). Remove from the pan and drain on paper towels.
Slice burger buns open and reheat in a warm oven if needed.
Arrange buns with your choice of mayo or aioli, spicy eggplant, a handful of coriander leaves and sliced onion, and 2-3 crispy fried oyster mushrooms. Stab with a bamboo skewer to hold the burger together, if desired.
I used the powder from 16 activated charcoal capsules, equivalent to 2 tsp.
Nutrition information does not include oil for frying oyster mushrooms - you decide how much you'd like to use.