I love eggplant, and when the opportunity to prepare a new recipe with them comes along, I welcome it with open arms.
This Chinese eggplant with garlic sauce recipe is one of my favorites.
I love authentic Chinese food, and since my first trip to China, when I tasted this Chinese eggplant recipe, I have tried to replicate it in my kitchen.
This recipe is my interpretation of Chinese eggplant with an incredible garlic sauce.
For this Asian eggplant recipe, I use the long and thinner Chinese eggplants. I cut them in rounds and sautéed at with lots of garlic and ginger.
And, of course, a concoction of sauces is used to make this eggplant recipe.
The wonderful thing is that most Chinese sauces can be found in our grocery stores in bottles. Thus half a shelf has been taken by them in my refrigerator.
In this Article
- What is Eggplant?
- Chinese sauces
- Why You’ll Love Chinese Eggplant With Garlic Sauce
- Here are a few helpful tips for the ingredients needed for this Chinese recipe for eggplant.
- Equipment needed
- Shop This Post
- Cooking tips and step-by-step instructions on how to cook this Chinese eggplant.
- Why use a wok instead of a pan?
- How to serve it
- What other recipes can you prepare with eggplants?
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Storage and reheating instructions for this Chinese eggplant dish.
- If you enjoy this Chinese eggplant recipe, look at my other recipes.
- Chinese Eggplant
What is Eggplant?
Members of the Nightshade family, eggplant is grown worldwide and is most commonly purple. Also known as aubergine or brinjal, they contain antioxidants like vitamins A and C.
At your grocery store, you will find a wide selection of eggplants.
For this recipe, I used Chinese. You can also use Japanese eggplant, which is a little longer in size.
When selecting your eggplant, ensure that they are around the same size and the skin is not bruised or has brown spots. It has to be firm to the touch, and the skin should have shiny look to the naked eye.
Store them in a cool place and use them within two days if left outside the refrigerator.
I love to play with Chinese flavors. I have always enjoyed eating Chinese food and have been fortunate to travel to China and Southeast Asia and loved all the food in front of me.
Sauces are a huge part of cooking, and with this dish, I played with a few. They happen to be a staple in my refrigerator. I’m pretty sure I use more soy sauce than ketchup.
Here is a list of what I suggest you add to your pantry/refrigerator, as they are fun to use with lots of dishes:
You will be happy to have them on hand and play with them to flavor any vegetable dishes or rice.
Why You’ll Love Chinese Eggplant With Garlic Sauce
- Full of Flavor – The various sauces, mixed with the spices, add depth of flavor to this vegetable-based dish.
- Simple – This recipe is easy to make on a weeknight when you have all of the ingredients on hand.
- Versatile – Make this dish for a family dinner or serve it at a dinner party with friends.
Here are a few helpful tips for the ingredients needed for this Chinese recipe for eggplant.
You can find the printable recipe with all the correct ingredient amounts at the bottom of this post. Besides the staple salt and pepper, you will need:
Sauces: soy, oyster, hoisin, and hot chili. Each sauce adds a layer of flavor that is out of this world. You can use light soy sauce if you wish.
Sugar: Add some sweetness and caramelization to this fried eggplant
Chinese or Japanese eggplants: Make sure they are all the same size, small preferably, with intact skin and free of bruising.
Canola oil or sesame oil: the preferred oils in Asian cooking. They do not change flavor when used under high heat.
Garlic: Add garlic to the sauces and achieve the perfect spicy garlic sauce with this eggplant dish.
Ginger: An essential ingredient in Asian cooking. It brings tanginess to any dish.
Scallions or green onions: are another critical ingredient that marries well when cooking the eggplant.
Parsley: Optional as it is used for decoration
I have a kitchen filled with gadgets and cooking tools, all I purchased. I only recommend what I use and love.
Therefore to achieve this recipe, I used the following:
Small bowl – To mix all your spices and sauces.
Sharp chef’s knife – To cut through the eggplant and cut all the vegetables.
Wok with a lid – A concave Chinese cooking pan that sits directly over the flame to better distribute the heat.
Wok Cooking tools – the best to work with a wok.
Chinese serving bowls – Always fun to serve our food in a different dish.
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Cooking tips and step-by-step instructions on how to cook this Chinese eggplant.
When purchasing eggplant, I usually select a smaller one. The less internal pulp, the less bitter they are. Look for all the same-sized eggplants with shiny outer skin without bruising.
- Add the sauces, sugar and water to a bowl and whisk together.
- Slice the eggplants.
- Add the eggplant to a large nonstick skillet or wok drizzled with oil and cook briefly while occasionally flipping.
- Add the garlic, scallions, and ginger to the pan and continue to cook briefly.
- Pour in the soy sauce mixture and continue to cook for a minute or so.
- Transfer the eggplant and sauce to a platter and serve.
Tips for the best Chinese eggplant with garlic sauce
Some recipes will require cutting them and letting them rest with lots of salt sprinkled over them to remove the bitterness of it. Do follow that guide. The salt removes the acidity.
Cut the Chinese eggplant to the same size. It makes it easy to cook evenly
Either use a skillet or a wok. Please make sure they are hot to do a quick eggplant stir fry. Do not let them sit too long in the sauce.
This recipe cooks relatively fast. I strongly suggest you have all the ingredients ready at once. If you are working over a gas stove, due to the shape of your wok, the flames tend to come up along the side; please wear comfortable clothes around the heat source, and keep children away.
I love working with a wok; it mesmerizes me how fast everything cooks. Remember, if the heat is too hot and it cooks too fast, you can move whatever food you have inside to the upper walls of your wok.
Why use a wok instead of a pan?
The wok has a shorter cook time, fits more food, and requires less oil than a frying pan.
By seasoning your wok, you create a natural non-stick coating. The rounded bottom shape conducts heat quickly. It is idyllic for dishes that incorporate seared meats and fried vegetables.
It works best on gas stoves as the heat of the flames goes up the sides. Thanks to the high sides, the risk of oil splattering is diminished.
However, because they cook at such high heat, it is easy to burn food. Therefore, keeping a keen eye on your wok and moving it around is recommended.
How to serve it
Once it is done, place it on a large serving plate and serve it immediately while piping hot.
Heat – Add some heat with crushed red pepper flakes or dried red chilis.
Sauces – Adjust the ratios of the sauces to fit your palate.
Vegetables – Add other vegetables like mushrooms or bean sprouts.
Spices – Use your own favorite seasonings and spices to create your own signature version of the dish.
What other recipes can you prepare with eggplants?
I have an assortment of straightforward recipes to a bit more elaborate.
The possibilities are endless.
We had Lemon Parmesan Orange Roughy with it. Simple and the perfect balance.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do you eat the skin of a Chinese eggplant?
You can certainly eat the skin of the eggplant. It’s edible, making it easy to prep when cooking with it.
What is the difference between Chinese eggplant and Japanese eggplant?
Japanese eggplants are more akin to American eggplants with darker-colored skin. Chinese eggplants have lighter skin that is soft when it’s cooked.
Should Chinese eggplant be refrigerated?
Yes, refrigerate Chinese eggplant. It will stay fresh in the fridge for up to a week.
Storage and reheating instructions for this Chinese eggplant dish.
You can store leftover Chinese eggplant with garlic sauce for a few days in the fridge.
Refrigerator: If you are fortunate to have leftovers, store the eggplant pieces in an airtight container for a couple of days in the refrigerator. Bring back to room temperature and warm over medium-low heat in a skillet. Do not move around too much so they will not fall apart.
Freezer: While you can freeze this recipe, it’s unlikely to retain its original texture. If you choose to, you can do so in a freezer-safe container for up to 3 months
If you enjoy this Chinese eggplant recipe, look at my other recipes.
Enjoy this delicious gluten-free Chinese-style eggplant prepared in less than 15 minutes. Before we knew it, the dish was gone.
The equipment and ingredients used to prepare this dish.
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce,
- 1 tablespoon oyster sauce,
- 1 tablespoon hoisin sauce,
- 1 tablespoon hot chili sauce,
- ⅓ cup water
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 4 Chinese or Japanese eggplants
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 1 tablespoon garlic, chopped
- 1 tablespoon ginger, peeled and chopped
- ⅓ cup scallions, finely sliced scallions (4 white light green part only)
- ¼ cup parsley, coarsely chopped
- Slice eggplant crosswise around 1 ½ inch thick. Cut those pieces in half.
- Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet or wok. Add the eggplant and sauté over high heat, covered for about 5 minutes, turning the pieces in the hot oil occasionally. Remove the lid, add the ginger, garlic, scallions, and sauté uncovered for about 1 minute, tossing gently a few times.
- Add the soy sauce mixture to the skillet, cover, and cook for about 1 minute. Uncover and cook for another minute. Add the parsley, toss and serve.
Giangi’s Kitchen provides nutritional information, but these figures should be considered estimates, as a registered dietician does not calculate them.
Did you make this?
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