Chinese eggplant in garlic sauce- a very easy and tasty Asian-style eggplant dish that is enjoyed by even those who don't like this vegetable. The combination of stir-fried eggplants in a flavorful garlic sauce is something every Asian food lover must try.
Chinese eggplant in garlic sauce is my favorite Asian stir fry recipe.
I tried this dish for the first time in Vietnam around three years back. There it was served to us almost every single day at least once because of the limited meat-free options available in the Vietnamese cuisine.
It was so good that we didn't get bored of it even after having it daily for around 2 weeks continuously.
Another two vegan dishes on which we survived in Vietnam are tofu in tomato sauce and Vietnamese morning glory.
All these dishes are regularly cooked in my kitchen now. This is my favorite part of traveling, bringing the local cuisine from different countries to my kitchen.
What goes in Chinese garlic eggplant?
To make eggplant in garlic sauce, you will need the ingredients shown below:
- Eggplant: Use Chinese or Japanese eggplants which are long in shape and have fewer seeds.
- Scallion: Spring onion can be used too.
- Roasted peanuts: Instead of peanuts, cashew nuts can also be used.
How to make (step by step instructions)?
Step 1: Cut eggplants into bite-size pieces.
Step 2: In a large bowl, mix salt and water.
Step 3: Put chopped eggplant pieces in the salted water.
Step 4: Put a small heavy plate on top of eggplant pieces so that instead of floating on the surface they remain submerged in water.
Step 5: Keep them like this for around 15 minutes and then drain the water.
Step 6: Pat dry with a paper towel to get rid of excess moisture.
Steps 7 and 8: Put the eggplant cubes in a large bowl and add around 2 tablespoons of corn starch.
Steps 9 and 10: Gently toss until the corn starch evenly coats the eggplant pieces.
Step 11: Heat vegetable or peanut oil in a pan/ cooking pot with a flat base. Spread the eggplant cubes in a single layer on it.
Step 12: Nicely cook from all the sides until they turn golden brown. It will take around 15 minutes.
Step 13: In the same pot add chopped ginger, garlic, and hot red chilies and saute for about a minute.
Step 14: In a small bowl mix soy sauce, vinegar, sesame oil, brown sugar, and corn starch.
Step 15: Add the sauce mix to the pan.
Steps 16 and 17: Keep stirring until the sauce thickens.
Step 19: Add stir-fried eggplant pieces and some chopped scallion to the sauce.
Steps 20 and 21: Gently mix until the sauce evenly coats the eggplant pieces.
Steps 22, 23, and 24: Add remaining chopped scallion, hot red chili peppers, roasted peanuts, and sesame seeds.
Your delicious Chinese eggplant with garlic sauce is to ready to be enjoyed.
We were always served this garlic eggplant stir fry with jasmine rice on the side. You can also have it with sticky rice.
If you prefer noodles, enjoy it with a noodle dish.
It can also be served as an appetizer with a simple soy sauce dip on the side.
To store, transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate for 2-3 days.
How to reheat?
To reheat either microwave or heat around a teaspoon of oil in a pan and quickly stir fry the garlic eggplant again for around 2-3 minutes.
Recipe tips and tricks
- Pick eggplants with fewer seeds to make this Asian eggplant stir fry.
- Always stir fry on high flame.
- As the cooking is done on high flame, keep all the ingredients ready and near the stove.
- Handle the eggplant pieces gently otherwise, they will break. Also, use chopsticks or a pair of tongs to move them in the pan.
- While stir-frying, spread the eggplant pieces in a single layer so that they get cooked evenly.
- Eggplants absorb a lot of oil, so don't add too much oil to stir fry them. They will soak it all.
- If the saltiness of soy sauce is not sufficient for you in the dish, add some salt too.
- For a hotter version, you may add some hot sauce and chili flakes to the sauce.
- For extra flavor, vegan or vegetarian oyster sauce can also be added to the dish.
Frequently asked questions
Chinese or Japanese eggplants are the best for this recipe. However, if you could not find it, use any other variety with soft skin and fewer seeds.
The only ingredient which is not suitable for a gluten-free diet in this dish is soy sauce. So to make a gluten-free version, replace soy sauce with tamari.
There are a lot of reasons for soaking eggplant in salted water. First, it helps in getting rid of the bitterness of Chinese eggplant, if any.
It also helps in getting rid of the excess water content of the eggplant which helps it to retain its shape on getting stir-fried.
This step also helps in avoiding eggplant soaking excess oil.
More eggplant recipes from around the world
Eggplant is one of my favorite vegetables since childhood. If you also love eggplants and looking for more easy eggplant recipes from around the world, don't miss checking the following links:
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Chinese eggplant in garlic sauce
- Cooking pot
Ingredients for the sauce
- 4-5 large Chinese or Japanese eggplants around 5 cups chopped eggplant
- 4-5 garlic cloves finely chopped (adjust to taste)
- 1 inch ginger piece finely chopped
- 1 Thai/ any hot chili pepper finely chopped
- 2 stalks scallion finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons corn starch
- 2 tablespoons peanut/ vegetable oil
- 2 teaspoons salt
- Water to soak eggplants
- Wash the eggplants and cut into bite size cubes.
- In a large bowl mix salt and water. Put the eggplant cubes. Put a small plate on top of the eggplants to make sure they remain submerged in the water. Keep them like this for around 15 minutes.
- After 15 minutes, discard the water and pat dry the eggplant cubes with a clean kitchen towel.
- Put the eggplant cubes in a large bowl and add around 2 tablespoons of corn starch. Gently toss until the corn starch evenly coats the eggplant pieces.
- Heat oil in a pan or cooking pot with a flat base. Spread the eggplant cubes in a single layer on it. Nicely cook from all the sides until they turn golden brown. It will take around 15 minutes.
- Take out the eggplant pieces on a plate.
- In the same pan add chopped ginger, garlic, and hot red chilies. Saute for about a minute.
- In a bowl mix all the sauce ingredients and add to the pan. Continuously stir and cook until the corn starch thickens.
- Add cooked eggplants and some scallion. Mix everything and cook for another minute.
- Garnish with roasted peanuts, sesame seeds, and remaining scallion. Enjoy!
- Use chopsticks or tongs to handle the eggplant otherwise, it will break.
- Make a single layer of eggplants so that they get evenly cooked.
- Don't overcook them otherwise they will turn mushy.
- You may add some salt to the sauce if the saltiness of soy sauce is not enough for you.
- More recipe tips and tricks are given within the post above. Please follow them to make this recipe.