Calling all you Eggplant lovers out there! Here’s a flavor bomb you won’t want to miss – Spicy Chinese Eggplant with Szechuan Sauce -a tasty, easy vegan dinner recipe you can serve over rice, cauliflower rice, rice noodles, black rice or even quinoa! See 45-second video!
I picked up some eggplant at the farmers market the other day thinking I would make this baked Ratatoullie Recipe, but then somehow I got a hankering for something spicier. Oops, change of plans!
I remembered a dish we had in Shanghai a few years back, and dug up my old recipe notes. There it was in BOLD – Spicy Chinese Eggplant with Szechuan Sauce with a huge star and circle around it – a reminder to share it with you!
So here it is, and boy is this tasty! I can’t wait for you to give it a go.
Another vegan dinner recipe for you to try out!
How to make Spicy Chinese Eggplant | 30-Second Video!
Why this Chinese Eggplant works!
- eggplant is crispy, not soggy
- uses the minimum amount of oil
- amazing flavor- spicy, garlicky, subtly sweet
- it is vegan!
- it’s easy!
How to make Chinese Eggplant:
It starts with cutting the eggplant into bite-sized pieces. Cut at a diagonal so each piece is like a triangle, about an inch thick at its thickest end.
Try to get get them roughly the same size for even cooking. Cut a wedge then turn the eggplant, cut again and turn.
This works best with Japanese eggplant ( long and skinny) versus globe eggplant.
Once all the eggplant are cut ( 4 x 10-inch eggplants), place in a bowl of salted water for 20 minutes.
Salting the eggplant helps the eggplant soak up less oil when stir-frying.
Cover with a plate so the eggplant is submerged. Let sit 20-30 mins.
Mise en place ( get things prepped and ready)
While the eggplant soaks, prep the garlic, ginger and Szechuan sauce and place them by the stove.
Drain the eggplant, rinse, then pat dry with a kitchen towel.
Then coat in cornstarch. This helps the eggplant get crispy.
Sear the eggplant in an extra-large flat skillet, versus a round wok. The eggplant need a little time to cook through and get each side brown. This is difficult to do in a wok.
Then begin searing each side.
Sear them in two batches, and this is where you will need a little patience. Each batch will take about 10 minutes, and require to turn the eggplant over one by one to get each side golden.
If you are in a hurry you can use two skillets, but it can be a lot to manage.
So when the eggplant are deeply golden, even slightly charred, set them aside.
Stir fry the ginger and garlic for a quick minute then add the chilies. Make sure to have your fan on!
Keep in mind, you never eat these chilies– they just give the oil a little spicy heat, permeating the whole dish.
Then pour in the Szechuan sauce you’ve already prepped.
Cook it for 20 seconds then add the Eggplant back into the skillet, gently coating.
This will smell amazing.
Sometimes I’ll even top it with this Peanut Chili Crunch which adds great texture and flavor. Always nice to have on hand ( my husband looooooves this stuff!).
What I love about this Chinese Eggplant recipe is the eggplant is deliciously caramelized with crispy charred edges – the best texture!
Worth every minute you spend browning those sides.
And YES it is quite addictive!
Make this Chinese Eggplant soon, while eggplants are still available at your farmer’s market!
And as always, if you make this, please rate and comment below. VERY Appreciated!!!
More Chinese-inspired Recipes you may like:
- Szechuan Asparagus with Garlic, Ginger and Chilies
- Szechuan Tofu and Veggies
- Authentic Szechuan Sauce
- Sheet-Pan Szechuan Chicken and Brussel Sprouts
- Kung Pao Noodles!
- Chinese Five Spice
- Moo Shu Tofu