Who knew it could be so easy to make Chinese style carryout at home? This eggplant in spicy garlic sauce recipe comes together in 20 minutes and makes for a very healthy, easy and quick lunch or dinner. It’s a spicy, saucy and completely irresistible!
What makes this recipe so great?
It’s just like the stuff you get from your local Chinese restaurant! You don’t need any special ingredients or equipment to make a delicious Chinese eggplant recipe at home either! A few pantry staples and a large pan will get the job done!
Ingredients you’ll need for this spicy garlic eggplant dish:
- Sesame oil: for the pan
- Brown sugar
- Soy sauce
- Rice wine vinegar
- Chili garlic sauce
- Fresh garlic
- Fresh ginger
- Hoisin sauce
- All-purpose flour or cornstarch
- Jasmine rice
- Sesame seeds
How to make eggplant in spicy garlic sauce:
- Combine all the sauce ingredients in a medium bowl.
- Dice the eggplant.
- Sauté it in a pan with oil until soft.
- Once soft, add in the sauce.
- Let thicken and serve over steamed rice.
The chili garlic sauce is what adds the most heat to this dish so I would recommend just leaving it out completely. On the other hand, if you like it really spicy you can add some chili flakes for an extra kick! The amount of spice can be completely determined by you.
Japanese eggplants are what most Chinese recipes with eggplant call for. They are smaller than the traditional globe eggplant but have many of the same qualities including their deep purple skin. It is much easier for me to get my hands on globe eggplant (regular eggplant to most of us) where I live and it works perfectly too! This recipe is very flexible so use whatever eggplant you can find!
You can cut your eggplant into long strips as well. This is what I normally see when I order this dish at restaurants. I just like cubing it at home because I find it easier to eat and scoop up with my rice!
Either one of these will work because they act as thickening agents for the sauce. Cornstarch has a bit more ‘thickening power’ so it requires half the amount to reach the same thickness compared to flour.
Any kind of brown or white rice is fine for serving. Steamed white jasmine rice is pretty typical with Chinese food and very delicious! I usually just follow the directions on the back of the bag for preparation.
It may seem like you have a lot of eggplant by the time it’s all cut up but keep in mind that it shrinks as it cooks. Eggplant holds a good amount of water so as the eggplant softens in the pan and its water is released, the pieces become smaller.
Eggplant In Spicy Garlic Sauce
For the sauce:
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/3 cup low sodium soy sauce
- 2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
- 1 tbsp chili garlic sauce
- 2 cloves fresh garlic minced
- 1 inch piece ginger minced
- 2 tbsp hoisin sauce
- 1 tbsp all-purpose flour or 1/2 tsp cornstarch
- 2 tbsp sesame oil or olive oil for the pan
- 1 small globe eggplant cubed
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp cracked black pepper
- jasmine rice
- sesame seeds
- In a medium sized bowl, combine the ingredients for the sauce. Make sure your garlic and ginger are minced with all skins removed. Whisk well to get rid of any flour or cornstarch lumps too!
- Cut off the top and bottom of the eggplant and discard. Then cut into one inch sized pieces, my preference is to cube it, but you can cut it into thicker stick shapes if that's what you like too.
- On medium-high heat, drizzle a little oil into your large pan, then add the eggplant in a single layer.
- Season with salt and pepper and let soften for about 5 minutes.
- Once you've seen that the eggplant has shrunk a little and feels softer, pour the sauce right into the same pan.
- Stir to coat and cook for a few more minutes until the sauce is thick. The cooking process here happens quickly thanks to the thickener we added to the sauce earlier.
- Immediately serve over rice and top with sesame seeds.
**I am not a dietitian and recommend you seek a nutritionist for exact nutritional information. The information in the nutrition box is calculated through a program and there is room for error. If you need an accurate count, I recommend running the ingredients through your favorite nutrition calculator.**