Tip the rice into a bowl. Cover with cold water. Set aside to soak for around 10 mins while you prepare the veg.
Trim the aubergines. Slice into long lengths around 1 cm thick. Finely slice the chilli – flick out the seeds for less heat. Finely chop the chives.
Drain the rice. Tip into a small pan. Add 350ml boiling water and a pinch of salt. Cover. Bring to the boil, then turn the heat right down. Simmer the rice for 6-8 mins till all the water has been absorbed.
While the rice cooks, warm a deep frying pan or wok over a medium heat. Add the sesame seeds. Toast for 2 mins till they’re golden and smell nutty. Stir often to stop them burning. Tip into a bowl.
Warm 1 tbsp oil in the frying pan or wok. Stir fry the aubergines over a high heat for 5-6 mins till they’re golden all over.
Take the rice off the heat. Set aside, lid on, for 2-4 mins to finish cooking the rice. It’ll stay warm in the covered pan.
Add the chilli to the aubergines. Stir fry for 1-2 mins till the pan smells spicy. Add 1 tbsp of the vinegar, 1 tbsp of the sugar, 1 tbsp of the tamari and 150 ml boiling water. Simmer for 2-3 mins till the sauce is thick and sticky.
Stir in the spinach so it just wilts. Stir in most of the toasted sesame seeds. Taste and add more tamari if you think it needs it. Serve the aubergines with the rice, topped with the chives and the remaining sesame seeds.