Sweet, tangy and spicy, this Chinese eggplant in garlic sauce is sure to be your new favorite dinner recipe. Serve it with rice or noodles for a healthy vegan dinner that the whole family will love. And, it takes under 30 minutes to make!
The next time you need an easy, flavorful main course dish, look no further than eggplant with garlic sauce. You probably have most of the ingredients to make this classic Chinese recipe in your pantry.
The great thing about eggplant is that it soaks up flavors so readily. It's one of my favorite veggies to cook with because it's so versatile. From Turkish eggplant to Lebanese fatteh, the humble eggplant pops up in dishes worldwide. And, China is no exception. That's why I'm excited to share this iconic Chinese dish. I guarantee that you'll love it!
Related Post: Chinese Hunan Tofu
💚Reasons You'll Love This Recipe
💚It's ready in 30 minutes.
💚There's no complicated ingredients.
💚You can easily adjust the spice levels to suit your preference.
💚It's vegan, and can easily be made gluten free.
- Eggplant: Choose eggplants that are firm and heavy. Avoid eggplants that are wrinkly, bruised or soft.
- Sriracha Sauce: Any kind of chili garlic sauce will work. Sambal Oelek also works well here.
- Mirin: Mirin often gets confused with rice wine vinegar. The difference is that mirin adds a sweeter flavor. However, rice wine vinegar will still work, if that's what you have on hand.
- Ginger: Fresh ginger is part of the magic of eggplant with garlic sauce. It has a pungent and spicy flavor that can't be replaced with dried ginger powder.
- Vegetable Broth: Vegetable broth adds more flavor to the sauce. You can use real vegetable stock or a bouillon cube.
- Garlic: There's no eggplant with garlic sauce without garlic. You can use more or less than indicated in the recipe depending on your preference.
- Green Onion: Green onions add a pop of freshness and a grassy flavor.
- Red Pepper: Red peppers add a bit of sweetness and color.
- Soy Sauce: Soy sauce is the base of the garlic sauce. You can also use tamari if you're looking to make this dish gluten free.
- Maple Syrup: Maple syrup is a refined sugar free alternative to the granulated sugar you normally find garlic sauce.
- Cornstarch: We'll be making a cornstarch slurry with the cornstarch. This is what will thicken the sauce.
- Vegetable Oil: The best choice for stir frying is canola oil, peanut oil or soybean oil.
👨🍳How To Make Chinese Eggplant In Garlic Sauce
- Step 1 - Boil The Eggplant: Bring a pot of salted water to the boil. Top and tail the eggplant and cut into ½ inch cubes. Boil for 2 minutes. When the eggplant is done cooking remove it from the water with a slotted spoon and transfer it to a paper towel lined plate.
- Step 2 - Make The Sauce: While your eggplant is boiling, combine the sauce ingredients in a small bowl. Make the cornstarch slurry and set aside.
- Step 3 - Saute The Red Pepper: Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a wok or large saute pan. Saute the red pepper for two minutes.
- Step 4 - Add Garlic, Ginger, Green Onions: Add your garlic, ginger and green onions to the pan and saute for 30 seconds.
- Step 5 - Add The Eggplant: Add your eggplant, tossing it until it's coated in the garlic and ginger. Saute for a further minute.
- Step 6 - Add The Sauce: Pour your sauce over the eggplant and stir fry for an additional minute.
- Step 7 - Add The Cornstarch Slurry: Add the cornstarch slurry and keep stirring until the sauce has thickened and is heated through.
- Eggplant with garlic sauce can be served on it's own, or with basmati rice or noodles.
Did You Make This Recipe?
Allow the Chinese Eggplant in Garlic Sauce to cool to room temperature before storing. Transfer the dish into an airtight container and store for 3-4 days.
Note: While it's generally possible to freeze cooked eggplant, the texture might change slightly upon thawing. If you're okay with that, here's how to freeze:
Allow the dish to cool completely in the refrigerator before freezing. Transfer the cooled dish into a freezer-safe container or heavy-duty freezer bag. Remove as much air as possible to prevent freezer burn. Store in the freezer for up to 2-3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight before reheating. Reheat using the microwave or on the stovetop.
🙋Frequently Asked Questions
No, you don't need to peel eggplant. In fact, it holds it's shape better when it's unpeeled.
If you don't have mirin on hand, you can substitute apple cider vinegar or white wine vinegar, but it will alter the flavor a bit.
Soy sauce contains gluten, but if you swap it for tamari, the dish will be gluten-free.
Craving More Easy Vegan Recipes?
Chinese Eggplant In Garlic Sauce
For The Eggplant
- 2 eggplants cut into cubes
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 1 red pepper finely chopped
- 1 green onion finely minced
- 4 garlic cloves minced
- 1 teaspoon fresh ginger minced
For The Sauce
- ¼ cup vegetable broth
- 6 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons mirin or rice wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon chili garlic sauce
- 2 teaspoons maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 3 tablespoons water
- Bring a pot of salted water to the boil.
- Top and tail the eggplant and cut into ½ inch cubes. Boil for 3 minutes.
- While the eggplant is boiling, combine the sauce ingredients in a small bowl. Make the cornstarch slurry and set aside.
- Remove the eggplant from the water with a slotted spoon and transfer it to a paper towel lined plate.
- Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a wok or large saute pan. Saute the red pepper for 2 minutes.
- Add the garlic, ginger and green onions to the pan and saute for 30 seconds.
- Add the eggplant, tossing it until it's coated in the garlic and ginger. Saute for a further 2 minutes.
- Pour the sauce over the eggplant and stir fry for an additional minute.
- Add the cornstarch slurry and keep stirring until the sauce has thickened and is heated through.