Crispy around the edges and buttery smooth on the inside, Chinese Deep Fried Eggplant with Spicy Garlic Sauce is a beautifully rich dish that’s perfect on steamed rice. The restaurant-style recipe is made vegan with vegetarian mushroom sauce instead of oyster sauce which makes it even more delicious.
This dish is medium-hot. Spicy but not overly so, especially when served with plain rice for balance. Adjust the amount of hot chilies to your preference.
For a low-fat version of this dish, make delicious spicy garlic steamed eggplant dish. Simply salt the cut eggplant and steam it instead of frying.
Vegetarian Mushroom Stir Fry Sauce:
Black Bean Garlic Sauce:
Eggplant + Lentil Stir-fry:
hot for food cookbook review: coming soon!
Full recipe + blog post: coming later today!
2 large Chinese Eggplants (500g)
1 teaspoon salt
oil for deep frying
1/2 cup cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
1 tablespoon oil
1 tablespoon garlic black bean sauce
1 tablespoon minced garlic (2 – 3 cloves)
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon chopped red chillies
1 finely sliced scallion
1 teaspoon light soy sauce
1 tablespoon vegetarian mushroom sauce
1/4 cup cold vegetable broth
2 teaspoons cornstarch
Fill a large bowl with cold water and a teaspoon of salt. Cut the eggplant into lengths about 2″ long and 1/2″ thick. Immediately submerge in the water in order to prevent the eggplant from browning. You can use a bowl or small plate to weigh the eggplant down.For best results, let it soak for 20 minutes before draining well. You can also do this ahead of time, letting it soak in the fridge for up to two days. Make sure the eggplant is well drained before the next step.
In a large bowl, mix the cornstarch coating ingredients. Add the eggplant and mix with your hands so eggplant pieces are completely coated.
Prepare your stir-fry ingredients. Mix the cornstarch slurry and set aside. Once your eggplant is fried, you’ll want to immediately start the stir-fry so be ready.
To fry the eggplant on the stove:
Fill a heavy bottomed pot with 3″ – 4″ with oil. Heat to 365°F; ensure the oil is hot enough by using a thermometer. Fry the eggplant in small batches to maintain the high temperature, turning the pieces after a minute so they cook evenly. Fry each batch about 3 minutes or until the exterior is just turning a little golden. Drain the eggplant on a paper towel-lined rack.
After the eggplant is all fried, heat a tablespoon of oil in a large pan or wok over medium-high heat. When the pan is hot, add black bean sauce and garlic. Stir-fry for 1 minute; don’t let the garlic burn.
Add scallions and red chillies; stir-fry about 30 seconds until the scallions turn bright. Add sugar, soy sauce, and vegetarian mushroom sauce. Give the cornstarch slurry a mix, then add it to the pan as well, stirring quickly. Turn off the heat as the sauce thickens.
Add the eggplant and fold gently with a spatula to distribute the sauce. Garnish with chopped scallions and/or cilantro and enjoy!
For deep-frying, choose a neutral tasting oil with a high smoke point such as peanut oil or canola.
Regular soy sauce is normally light soy sauce. It’s saltier and not as darkly coloured as the more flavourful dark soy sauce.
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