Chinese Spicy Garlic Eggplant. Tender eggplant cooked in a spicy, savoury garlic sauce fried with aromatic dried red chilies, green onions, and ginger.
Ready in 30 minutes
You will never want to cook eggplant any other way once you try this! This eggplant dish is ready in just 30 minutes.
There are many Asian eggplant recipes out there but this one is super flavourful and has an amazing umami flavour thanks to the oyster sauce. It’s also slightly sweet to balance out the salty flavours from the soy sauce.
Easy to make!
My Chinese eggplant recipe is very simple to make at home! The cooking process takes less than 10 minutes, maybe 7!
You’re basically coating the chopped eggplant in cornstarch. Then premixing your sauce and preparing the aromatics. Then in a hot wok, you’ll fry the eggplant in oil and set aside. Next, lightly fry your aromatics, toss back in the eggplant, and pour on that sauce. Give it a light toss and that it’s!
See below for Steps and Video
I will show you step by step with images and a short video on how to cook spicy garlic eggplant. Just scroll down below!
What You'll Need
For this eggplant with garlic sauce, you’ll need the following ingredients:
- eggplants (long slender Asian kind)
- vegetable oil
- green onion
- dried red chilies
Spicy garlic eggplant sauce:
- regular soy sauce, not light or dark!
- dark soy sauce
- oyster sauce
- Shaoxing wine, or dry sherry wine
- rice vinegar or white vinegar
- crushed red chili flakes
How to make Spicy Garlic Eggplant
Below are brief instructions and images to help you make this eggplant in spicy garlic sauce. Detailed instructions are located below in the recipe card.
Coat chopped eggplant in cornstarch.
Fry coated eggplant in oil over medium high heat until 80% cooked. Remove and set aside.
Lower heat to low-medium. Into wok, add another tablespoon of oil and aromatics. Fry for 10 seconds.
Then add eggplant and pour sauce overtop.
Quickly mix everything together until eggplant is coated in sauce. Remove off heat and enjoy!
Below are tips on making this spicy garlic eggplant recipe:
Prepare ingredients ahead of time
Ensure you have prepared your ingredients before the cooking process. The cooking process only takes 7 minutes or less.
Overcooking is better in this case
Eggplant is a tricky vegetable to cook. If you undercook it, it can be digested properly. So, for purposes of health, it’s better to overcook it just to make sure it’s totally cooked.
But we also don’t want to cook it to the point where it turns to mush. Therefore, when initially frying it in the oil, cook it to about 80%. You can tell when the eggplant flesh is less opaque or white in colour. Then cook the remaining 20% when you add it back in with the aromatics with the sauce.
Use gentle tossing motion
Since eggplant is also very tender and loses its shape with heat, it’s important to scoop from underneath with a wok spatula and to be GENTLE. I would recommend using the flipping motion of your forearm to toss the eggplant as the wok spatula can be a bit harsh.
Below are frequently asked questions about this hot garlic eggplant recipe:
Where can I buy Chinese Eggplant?
Any Asian or Chinese grocer should carry this item in the produce aisle. You may also use Japanese eggplant or any eggplant that is long and slender.
Can I use normal eggplant?
Yes, you may but the beauty to the Chinese eggplant is that most of the flesh is covered with that gorgeous purple skin. Whereas the regular breed has more white flesh than skin. But at the end of the day, this is about taste and both breeds work fine for this recipe.
Where can I buy Shaoxing Wine?
Asian grocer will carry this item. If you can’t find it, substitute with dry sherry wine instead.
Other Chinese recipes you may like!
If you enjoyed this Chinese recipe, check out my other recipes:
KUNG PAO CHICKEN
GENERAL TSO CHICKEN
BEEF AND BROCCOLI NOODLES
CHINESE HOISIN EGGPLANT STIR-FRY
CHOY SUM WITH SIZZLING OIL
CHINESE BRAISED TOFU
SPICY GOCHUJANG SESAME TOFU
Well, I hope you give my Chinese Spicy Garlic Eggplant recipe a try! It always excites me when you make my recipes and I hope this is one you try.
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Easy Chinese Spicy Garlic Eggplant (30-min)
- 500 grams Chinese eggplants (or sub with Japanese eggplant or normal one will do)
- ¼ cup cornstarch for coating
- 5 tablespoon vegetable oil or as needed
- 10 dried red chilies dried
- 5 slices ginger peeled
- 1 stalk green onion finely chopped
- 2 tablespoon garlic minced
- 1 tablespoon regular soy sauce not light or dark!
- 1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon oyster sauce (for a vegan version, sub with Vegetarian Stir Fry Sauce)
- 1 tablespoon water
- 1 teaspoon Shaoxing Cooking Wine
- 1 teaspoon white granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon rice vinegar or white vinegar
- ½ tablespoon cornstarch
- ½ teaspoon crushed red chili flakes
- In a bowl, combine sauce ingredients.
- Slice your unpeeled eggplant vertically into quarter long strips. Then cut the strips into 1.5-inch-long pieces. Transfer to a large bowl. Pour cornstarch over eggplant. Using your hands, coat chopped eggplant in cornstarch. Note: The cornstarch helps the sauce cling onto your eggplant.
- In a wok or pan over medium high heat, add ¼ cup vegetable oil. Once oil is hot, add eggplant. Fry until 80% cooked. Remove from wok and set aside.
- Lower heat to low-medium. Into wok, add 1 tablespoon of oil along with dried red chilies, ginger, and green onions. Fry for 5-10 seconds.
- Add back in eggplant. Pour sauce overtop.
- Quickly mix until eggplant is coated in sauce. Remove off heat and enjoy!
I made this for my family and my-in laws and they all loved it! So flavourful.
Saw this on Instagram; simple and quick to make and very very very tasty. I don’t normally cook Asian (or even at all..;-) and this was a home run. Husband now wants to quit our takeout when we can make this ourselves..
Haha! Thank you for making my recipe! I'm so glad you and your husband enjoyed it! Have a lovely day, Anna 🙂
Food was amazing. I threw up dinner because of dessert (edible cookie dough but I'm lactose intolerant so whoopsie) , but dinner was wicked awesome!
Thanks so much for making my recipe, Ja! So glad you enjoyed it!
Restaurant quality… even tho I didn’t have green onion!
Awesome, thanks so much for making my recipe Lori!
This looks delicious! I can't wait to make it. What would you serve this with? Thanks!
Thank you so much! I would suggest serving it with some steamed rice and perhaps a delicious protein of your choice like my Mongolian Chicken or for a vegetarian dish Chinese Braised Tofu . Hope this helps!
This has become a favourite in our household. Just two of us so we have it with rice as a main course. I don’t add the sugar or cornflour to the sauce. If I don’t have shoaxing wine I substitute with mirin. Recipe works all the time.
Thank you so much for making my recipe Beverely! Glad it works out every time 🙂