Thai Eggplant Stir Fry w/ your choice of protein, fresh veggies in a flavorful Thai stir-fry sauce with fragrant Thai basil. Vegan Adaptable.
- 1 pound eggplants, sliced long and thin. Use 2 Chinese or Japanese eggplants or 1 large Globe eggplant.
- 3– 4 tablespoons coconut oil (or peanut, or other high heat oil)
- 1 1/2 tablespoons garlic, roughly chopped
- 1–6 fresh Thai chilis, finely diced (optional, or sub milder chilies like jalapeno, or red chili paste)
- 1 pound chicken, thinly sliced. Use any protein of choice ( crispy tofu, ground turkey, shrimp, etc)
- 1/2 cup onion, sliced
- 1/2 cup bell peppers, bite-sized pieces
- 1/2 cup pea pods, chopped into 2-3 inch pieces (or sub more bell pepper)
- 1 cup Thai Basil (or sub regular basil)
- 1 tablespoon soybean paste (or sub miso paste)
- 2 1/2 tablespoon oyster sauce or vegan oyster sauce
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons sugar, or honey, maple, coconut sugar
- 2 teaspoons rice wine vinegar
- Water as needed: add in gradually with each step to help prevent protein, eggplants, and vegetables from browning too quickly in the pan.
- Prep Eggplant. Cut the eggplants into long, 1/2-inch thick pieces about 1-2 inches long. Place in a medium bowl, cover with water and 1 teaspoon salt (stir) for 15-20 minutes to keep the eggplants from browning and tasting bitter. Set aside.
- Make the stir-fry sauce. Mix soybean paste, oyster sauce, soy sauce, sugar, and rice wine vinegar. Set aside for later.
- Cook the protein: Add a little oil to a large skillet or wok on medium heat. Add a 5-finger pinch of salt. to the oil. Once hot, add chicken or shrimp (see notes for tofu) and cook until lightly browned, and cooked through. Add 2-3 tablespoons of water if necessary to loosen up the pieces in the pan. Once the chicken is cooked, remove it from the pan and set it aside on a plate. Wipe the skillet lightly with a paper towel.
- Cook the eggplant: Drain the eggplant, and pat dry with a paper towel. Add 1-2 tablespoons of oil to the pan, then add the eggplant (or spray with spray oil). Cook until the eggplants are caramelized and translucent and tender. Anywhere from 4-7 minutes, depending on the pan you’re using. Remove from the pan and set aside with the cooked chicken.
- Stir fry: Swipe the pan again with a paper towel, then add one tablespoon of oil on medium heat. Add garlic, chilis, and onion, and constantly stir for 2 minutes or until the onion is lightly caramelized. Add 2-3 tablespoons of water if necessary to loosen up the pieces in the pan. You might start to cough from the chilis being fried. It’s normal! (A badge of honor when making stir-fries in a Thai kitchen!) (: Turn the vent on or open windows for some air circulation.
- Add the vegetables (except the basil), stir, and cook for 3-4 more minutes until the vegetables are tender. If using a cast iron pan, they tend to cook everything more quickly because it conducts more heat, so lower heat if necessary. If using a non-stick pan, you may not need to add water at all.
- Add the cooked chicken and eggplant back into the pan with the vegetables. Stir well and heat through about 2 minutes.
- Add the stir-fry sauce, and stir for 1-2 more minutes. Taste and adjust the flavors with more soy sauce and a dash of sugar and add more chilis for extra heat.
- Stir in the fresh basil, saute for 30 seconds, and turn the heat off. The residual heat will continue to cook the basil while not overcooking it. Let it cool for a few minutes. Serve over a plate with rice or carbs of your choice.
- A wok is an excellent tool for this stir fry. If not, use the largest pan you have.
- Add more Thai chilis, jalapenos, or serrano peppers for extra heat.
- Gradually add water while cooking the chicken to help loosen up the food from sticking to the pan. Lower the heat slightly to help prevent the chicken from browning too quickly.
- Go to this Crispy Tofu post to make the salt and pepper version.
- Serving Size: 1 1/8 cup ( doesn't include rice)
- Calories: 311
- Sugar: 9.1 g
- Sodium: 473 mg
- Fat: 13.8 g
- Saturated Fat: 9.1 g
- Carbohydrates: 17.8 g
- Fiber: 5.1 g
- Protein: 28.9 g
- Cholesterol: 82.7 mg
Keywords: Thai Eggplant, eggplant stir fry, thai eggplant stir-fry