Chinese Szechuan Stir-Fried Eggplant in a Spicy Garlic Sauce is seriously the most amazing side dish to go along with white rice ever. The eggplant is sweet, tender, and so flavorful cooked in a soy sauce oil that is flavored with ginger, garlic, and red Thai peppers.
This past month, due to the stay-at-home orders, my family has done nothing our house but cook and watch TV. I have been obsessed with watching videos from this Internet star from China, Li Ziqi. She has a YouTube channel, where she does old-fashioned crafts, like picking cotton and making a mattress out of it, or hand-dying her clothes, or making other cool crafts. She also grows and cooks her own food. You get a nice slice of life from rural China.
One of the videos I watched recently had Li Ziqi making Szechuan Stir-Fried Eggplant. Li Ziqi added a lot of red pepper to her eggplant dish, but food from the Szechuan region is pretty spicy, I think. Loads of red pepper flakes and red pepper oil is how they flavor many of their dishes. That much pepper is way too spicy for me, but the eggplant looked amazing … which brings me to this recipe.
I can’t get over how much I love this recipe. Chinese Szechuan Stir-Fried Eggplant in a Spicy Garlic Sauce is a very quick side dish that’s great for vegetarians, and eggplant is a great meat alternative that leaves carnivores feeling satisfied. It’s quite delicious and very easy to make.
For this recipe, you’ll need Japanese eggplant, which is a long, slender eggplant that’s used frequently in Asian cooking. It’s paired with ginger, garlic, fresh red Thai chiles, and cooked with soy sauce, sugar, and rice cooking wine. The result is salty and a little sweet, and it’s just so delicious.
We served this during one of our family style dinners with Vietnamese sparerib, and everyone loved it, even Josh’s mom who says she is a “self-proclaimed white girl.”
I hope you enjoy this dish as much as we do!
Chinese Szechuan Stir-Fried Eggplant in a Spicy Garlic Sauce
- 3 tbsp cooking oil
- 3-4 Japanese eggplant, cut into half and sliced into long wedges
- 5 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 knob (3 inches) ginger, peeled and minced
- 2-3 fresh Thai red chili peppers, chopped (optional, you can omit if you don't like spicy food)
- 3 green onions, chopped
- 4 tbsp soy sauce
- 3 tbsp sugar
- 2 tbsp rice wine or Sake
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- In a nonstick pan over medium heat, heat 2 tablespoons of oil and stir-fry the eggplant until they are brown on all sides, about 3-4 minutes. You may need to add more oil as you cook. (Eggplant are great at absorbing oil.) Remove to a plate and set aside.
- Add more cooking oil and add the ginger, garlic, and red Thai chili for 1-2 minutes. Add the eggplant back into pan.
- In a bowl, stir together the soy sauce, sugar, red wine, and sesame oil. Add this to the pan and stir everything together.
- Add the green onions and give the pan a good stir. Taste an eggplant, and add more soy sauce if you want a saltier flavor.
- Serve the stir-fried eggplant with rice. Enjoy!