Chinese Eggplant with Garlic Sauce (红烧茄子)

4.88 from 154 votes
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The eggplant is grilled until crispy and smoky, and then cooked in a rich savory garlic sauce. This vegan dish is very satisfying, both as a side or a main dish served over rice or noodles. {Gluten-Free Adaptable}

Chinese eggplant with garlic sauce

Eggplant is a very tricky vegetable to cook. If you don’t season it properly, it will taste bitter or extremely plain. If you use too little oil, the texture will be mushy and create an awful mouthfeel. If you use too much oil, the eggplant might turn soggy and greasy.

If you don’t like cooking eggplant at home, you probably have some of the worries below:

  • Eggplant is quite time consuming to cook, compared to the average vegetable.
  • You’ll end up eating more calories without getting an impressive flavor.

That is why I’m posting this Chinese eggplant recipe today, to help you to create a wonderful eggplant dish nearly effortlessly.

This recipe offers the simplest way to cook a great eggplant dish without using too much oil, and avoids soggy and plain eggplant with the minimum needed cooking time.

Homemade Chinese eggplant with garlic sauce

How to make the perfect eggplant dish

The secret to getting perfect Chinese style eggplant involves two things.

  1. You have to prepare the eggplant properly before cooking in order to get the right texture.
  2. You need to make a sauce that is flavorful enough.

To prepare the eggplant, there are two ways to do it.

Before introducing the first method, I want to thank my friend Steve S. He taught me this method quite a long time ago, to prevent the eggplant from absorbing oil.

The method is:

  1. Spread the sliced eggplant on a towel.
  2. Sprinkle Kosher salt on both surfaces of the sliced eggplant.
  3. Allow to rest for 45-60 minutes.
  4. Pat each surface dry.
  5. Do not rinse the eggplant.

The second way is:

  1. Place the eggplant in a large bowl and add water to cover.
  2. Add 1/4 teaspoon salt, mix well.
  3. Place a pot lid on top to keep the eggplant under water for 15 minutes.
  4. Drain and pat dry

The second method requires a bit more effort, but it saves a bit of time. Both ways yield great results.

Chinese eggplant with garlic sauce close up

Once you’ve finished either of the methods above, there is one more step – after the eggplant is completely dry, sprinkle cornstarch over it and mix by hand, until the eggplant is evenly coated with a thin layer of cornstarch.

Using this method, you can create crispy and nicely charred eggplant on the stovetop in 10 minutes. No need to turn on the oven to get the smoky flavor!

Creating a good sauce is really easy. Just mix everything together and pour it over the eggplant at the end of cooking.

Home made Chinese eggplant cooking step by step

Chinese eggplant with garlic sauce served in plate

More delicious eggplant recipes

Happy cooking and hope you enjoy the dish!

If you give this recipe a try, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it (once you’ve tried it), take a picture and tag it @omnivorescookbook on Instagram! I’d love to see what you come up with.

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Chinese eggplant with garlic sauce close up

Chinese Eggplant with Garlic Sauce (红烧茄子)

4.88 from 154 votes
The eggplant is grilled until crispy and smoky, and then cooked in a rich savory garlic sauce. This vegan dish is very satisfying, both as a side or a main dish served over rice or noodles.
To make the dish gluten-free, use tamari or coconut amino to replace light soy sauce and dark soy sauce.
Author: Maggie Zhu
Course: Main, Side
Cuisine: Chinese
Keyword: takeout
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 2 to 4


  • 2 (10 oz. / 300 g) small Chinese long eggplant , chopped to bite-size pieces (*Footnote 1)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch

Sauce (*footnote 2)


  • 2 1/2 tablespoons peanut oil (or vegetable oil)
  • 1 teaspoon ginger , minced
  • 3 cloves garlic , chopped


  • (Option 1) Place eggplant in a large bowl and add water to cover. Add 1 teaspoon salt, mix well. Place a pot lid on top to keep the eggplant under water for 15 minutes. Drain and pat dry.
  • (Option 2) Spread the sliced eggplant out on a paper towel. Sprinkle Kosher salt on both sides of the eggplant slices. Allow to rest for 45-60 minutes. Pat dry without rinsing.
  • Combine the sauce ingredients in a small bowl, mix well.
  • Sprinkle eggplant with 1 tablespoon cornstarch and mix by hand, until eggplant is evenly coated with with a thin layer of cornstarch.
  • Add 2 tablespoons oil to a big nonstick skillet and heat over medium high heat until hot. Spread eggplant across the bottom of the skillet without overlapping. Cook the eggplant one side at a time until all the surfaces are charred and the eggplant turns soft, 8 to 10 minutes in total. Transfer the eggplants to a plate. If the skillet gets too hot and starts to smoke, turn to medium heat.
  • Add the remaining 1/2 teaspoon oil, the ginger and garlic into the same skillet. Stir a few times until fragrant. Add all the eggplant back into the skillet. Mix the sauce again until cornstarch is fully dissolved and pour it over the eggplant. Immediately stir a few times, until the eggplant is evenly coated and the sauce thickens. Transfer everything to a big plate.
  • Serve hot as a side or as main over steamed rice or noodles.


  1. You can use other type of eggplant and still generate crispy texture if following the method in this recipe. However, Asian long eggplant is the best option.
  2. This recipe uses very little sauce, just enough to coat the eggplant and make it tastes super flavorful. The rich sauce helps to keep the eggplant staying crispy. Be careful, the sauce will reduce very quickly once you add it to the pan. Stir immediately to coat the eggplant. 
  3. The dark soy sauce will add color to the dish and make it look more appetizing. You can skip it if you don’t have any in your pantry.



Serving: 119g, Calories: 122kcal, Carbohydrates: 11g, Protein: 1.4g, Fat: 8.7g, Saturated Fat: 1.4g, Sodium: 375mg, Potassium: 252mg, Fiber: 3.7g, Sugar: 5.1g, Vitamin C: 4.1mg, Calcium: 10mg, Iron: 0.4mg
Did You Make This Recipe?Don't forget the last step! Leave a comment below, and tag me @OmnivoresCookbook and #OmnivoresCookbook on Instagram!
Chinese Eggplant with Garlic Sauce (红烧茄子) - The eggplant is grilled until crispy and smoky, and then cooked in a rich savory garlic sauce. This vegan dish is very satisfying, both as a side or a main dish served over rice or noodles. {Gluten-Free Adaptable}

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Reader Questions and Reviews

  1. I agree cooking eggplant can be tricky but you have nailed it Maggi! I just can’t stare enough at it!

    • Kathleen Richichi says:

      I was chatting with a friend on Facebook about eggplant when the urge hit for your recipe and it hit hard. While normal people are sleeping, I’m in the kitchen making it … at 3:30 in the morning! It’s that good I’ll forgo sleep to satisfy the craving. Thanks Maggie …. it’s so delicious!

      • Maggie says:

        Wow, that’s some serious eggplant crave! I’m glad to hear the recipe satisfied your appetite 🙂

  2. Sarah @ Savoring Spoon says:

    Yum! I’ve always been hesitant about cooking eggplant because it’s oily. Thanks for the tips ~ pinned!

  3. Lokness @ The Missing Lokness says:

    Eggplants are awesome!!! I love them, especially 魚香茄子! I can’t agree more that eggplant is very tricky to cook. You don’t want bland eggplant, and definitely not greasy eggplant. I have not cooked eggplant before. After this post, I feel like I can do it! Next time when I find some Chinese eggplants, I will try this recipe. 🙂

  4. Marissa | Pinch and Swirl says:

    5 stars
    It’s so true that cooking eggplant can be tricky. When people tell me they don’t like it, I always assume that they’ve only had it poorly cooked. This version, however, looks completely delicious. And I love how detailed you are about the process. I’ll definitely try this!

    • Maggie says:

      Yep, I’m so agree with you Marissa. I used to hate eggplant dishes, because the poorly cooked ones were just terrible. I’m glad I managed to get a few eggplant recipes. They tasted so great if prepared properly 🙂

      • Courtney says:

        5 stars
        This recipe is absolutely phenomenal!!!!! It just melts in your mouth and has such a yummy crunch. I highly recommend this recipe!

  5. Michelle @ Vitamin Sunshine says:

    5 stars
    Love this dish Maggie! I love eggplant, but have made some terrible eggplant dishes in the past– I wanted to use eggplant in one of my recipes this weekend, so I am using your tips on how to cook it so hopefully mine comes out as beautiful as this!

    • Maggie says:

      Hi Michelle, glad you find the method helpful! What dish will you cook? Let me know how it goes! I’d love to learn an new eggplant dish from you!

      • Alleson Joy Brown says:

        can you freeze egglant

      • Maggie says:

        I wouldn’t recommend freezing eggplant because it contains a lot of water and its texture becomes weird after freezing. If you have to freeze them, you should freeze the cooked ones. They might become watery after reheating.

      • Megan says:

        Wonderful tips! I am looking forward to getting eggplant right! Question – Can I coat the eggplant with rice flour instead of cornstarch? Thanks for your help!

      • Maggie says:

        Hi Megan, I’ve never used rice flour to coat the eggplant and I think it reacts differently in cooking. I wouldn’t replace it.

  6. Alikabosar says:

    Thanks a lot. I’ll try it.

  7. Kelly - Life Made Sweeter says:

    This was one of my favorite dishes growing up. Yours looks perfect and so flavorful, Maggie! Love that you sprinkled it with cornstarch first, I can’t wait to try that next time!

  8. Levan @ says:

    5 stars
    OMG Maggie! These eggplants look fantastic! I’m always telling my wife that I’m a bit fussy with eggplant – it has to be prepared just right to taste good for me. And to answer your bio question, I LOVE Chinese Food, so much so that my wife makes fun of me for always sticking to the ‘same style’ of food. But I can’t help it. I grew up on it and still love it ! I’m bookmarking your blog cause it’s packed full of the kinds of recipes I love most of all!! CHINESE FOOD!!!

    It’s great to have connected on our blogs. Thanks so much for dropping by! And now I’m gonna mega visit your blog too cause it’s amazing. And we ain’t just saying it too. Love it! 🙂

    • Maggie says:

      Hey Levan, thanks so much for stopping by and leaving all the kind words! You have a great deal of super nice Chinese food on your blog, and I really love the vegetarian style! I remember that you’re from Singapore right? I’ve been there once and man, the chili crabs are SO GOOD!
      Looking forward to chatting more with you. Have a wonderful weekend 🙂

  9. Bam's Kitchen says:

    5 stars
    Asian eggplant is one of my favourite vegetables to prepare. It is kind of tricky to prepare. Love how gorgeous your version turned out. Beautiful photos! I make something a little different that came from one of the chefs at Crystal Jade Xioa Long Bao. He taught me to deep fry the eggplant for just a moment quick flash fry and they add the delicious sauce toppings for a fun appetiser. I could eat eggplant every day and never tire of it. I am off to see your other eggplant recipes. Take Care, BAM

    • Maggie says:

      Hi Bobbi, the fried method you mentioned, I believe it’s THE authentic way to cook eggplant in most of the Chinese restaurant. It will create a super crispy surface that you cannot get from stir-fry. The only reason I reluctant to cook this way is because I need to use a lot of oil at the first place. Although you can save the oil to use later, sometimes I’m just too lazy to do that 😉 Have a great week and hope the cooking goes well 🙂

  10. Christine | No Gojis, No Glory says:

    Eggplant is definitely one of those veggies I tend to avoid! They’ve always been a bit of a mystery to me, but the way you’ve prepped this dish sounds (and looks) very tasty. I find that sprinkling salt to draw out moisture is very helpful for other veggies too. I use that method often for zucchini and cucumbers.

    • Maggie says:

      Oh right! It’s totally make sense to apply the salt method for zucchini and cucumbers too. I will try them out when I grill veggies next time. Thanks so much for reminding me this! 🙂

      • Kathleen Egan says:

        Look for the long skinny Asian eggplant. You don’t need to hassle with the salting.

  11. Nancy | Plus Ate Six says:

    5 stars
    I did a Chinese cooking class a couple of months back and the amount of oil poured into the wok to cook the eggplant put me off – which is a shame because I absolutely love it cooked Chinese style. So now I’m going to have to give it another go – I’d eat a plate of this with rice all by myself 🙂

    • Maggie says:

      Hi Nancy, I know! Unfortunately it’s the way to cook most Chinese stir fried dishes and the reason why the restaurant version always tastes better! Happy cooking 🙂

  12. Nami | Just One Cookbook says:

    5 stars
    Maggie, this and stir fried green beans are my FAVORITE FAVORITE dishes!!! My kids are so tired of me ordering this (and I don’t). Thanks for all the tips. I usually do the #2 method to soak the eggplant. I love eggplant that I don’t mind prepping at all… Looks so good. I wish I have this right in front of me.

  13. Amanda M says:

    4 stars
    Omg I am obsessed with eggplant and am so happy to find this recipe with tips! Will definitely try these prep methods. Thanks a million!

  14. michelle says:

    5 stars
    I just tried your recipe. Heavenly! It will now be part of my cooking routine! It tastes as good as it looks. Love it.

    • Maggie says:

      Hi Michelle, thanks for leaving me a comment and I’m so happy to hear you like my recipe! This is one of my favorite ways to cook eggplant. It goes great with rice 🙂 Have a great day!

  15. Amanda | The Chunky Chef says:

    Ohhhh wow… this dish is absolutely calling my name! I love eggplant, and a chinese garlic sauce is my weakness 🙂

  16. James Beardsley says:

    5 stars
    This is incredibly good!

  17. felicia | Dish by Dish says:

    Maggie!! This is such a beautiful dish! The light in your photos is just stunning… and now I feel like cooking eggplant for dinner with plenty of rice!

    Btw, I’d love to include this eggplant recipe in a vegetarian roundup I’m doing for Parade Magazine.

    If you’re fine with that, could I use one of your photos with a linkback to your original post? Thank you!

    • Maggie says:

      Hi Felicia, I’m so glad to hear you like this dish! Of course, please feel free to use this recipe in the roundup. Looking forward to the post 🙂

      • Maggie says:

        Hi Felicia, sorry for the late reply! Thanks so much for including my recipe on Parage Mag and I’m hopping over to do sharing and pinning!
        Have a great week ahead 🙂

  18. Betsy says:

    Winner, winner. We made this tonight for our all vegetarian dinner after finding the eggplants at the Farmers Market. I can’t wait to make it again. Delish!

    • Maggie says:

      Thanks for leaving a comment and I’m so glad to hear you tried my recipe Betsy! This is one of my favorites and I make it at home all the time 🙂

  19. 5 stars
    Oooh Maggie! I LOVE your tip for how to stop the eggplant from absorbing oil! I HAVE TO TRY THIS ASAP!! 🙂

  20. Adriana says:

    5 stars
    Made it and it turned out great! I added broccoli and ended up doubling the sauce because of it, but it was very delicious. Thanks for the recipe! I was looking for something new to do with my chinese eggplants. Of course, eggplant tends to take a while, but I let it sit with the salt while I was cooking my brown rice.

    • Maggie says:

      Hi Adriana, I’m so glad to hear you like this dish! I never added broccoli into this dish, but it sounds delicious! Yes, eggplant takes extra time and effort to cook, but the result is always rewarding isn’t it 🙂 Thanks for leaving a comment to let me know! Hope you have a super weekend!

  21. DIANNA says:

    How do i make it to where the eggplant is crispy on the outside but very mushy on the inside? I tried doing this dish but my eggplants were half mushy and the other half was spongy like dried apples xD

    • Maggie says:

      Hi Dianna, I’m sorry to hear the dish didn’t turn out as good as you hoped. To make truly crispy eggplant with mushy inside (like the ones in a restaurant), you need to deep fry the eggplant. It requires a lot of oil (although you can save the leftover oil to use later), so I don’t usually fry the eggplant for a simple dish like this. To solve the “dried apples” problem, I will add one or two more spoons oil while I grill different side of the eggplant (a bit more calories, but more delicious). So the surface won’t be too dry. The texture will become soft eventually if you cook long enough.
      Hope this is helpful and looking forward to hear your feedback if you decide to cook this dish again 🙂

  22. Emily P. says:

    5 stars
    I’ve made this dish a few times now and I prefer to take the skin of the eggplant since it can be bitter and tough to chew…I add extra garlic, ginger and green onion (you can’t have too much of these!) and it is AWESOME! Thank you for the recipe!

    • Maggie says:

      Thanks so much for taking time and leave the comments Emily! Wow, you tried many of the dishes! You just made my day 🙂
      As for the eggplant, I’d remove the skin if I’m using the round or the fat eggplant. If you can get the long Asian eggplant, you’ll find the skin much tender and thin. 100% agree with the extra herbs. I always add plenty without measuring them (unless I’m developing a recipe)!
      You’re the most welcome. Have a wonderful week Emily 🙂

  23. Cathleen says:

    5 stars
    I made this last night and LOVED it! I did add some ground pork in it. I will definitely make this again and again.

    NO MORE frying eggplant in oil and end up with oily eggplant as it absorbs all the oil.

    • Maggie says:

      I’m so glad you like this dish Cathleen! Me too, I don’t fry eggplant anymore after I discovered this method. The ground pork sounds so delicious! Next time I’ll add some too 🙂

  24. Kate says:

    Having it now, amazing. Can’t believe something this good could be so easy. Thank you.

    • Maggie says:

      Thanks for letting me know Kate, and I’m so glad to hear you like the recipe! I agree, this dish is so easy to cook and the result is very rewarding!
      Have a great day 🙂

      • Kate says:

        Having it again tonight! It was really crispy outside and soft on the inside without using too much oil. Love it. Thanks again!

      • Maggie says:

        Sounds great! You’re the most welcome 🙂
        Have a great weekend Kate!

  25. Linda @ Roti n Rice says:

    I love eggplants and cook it often. It does take a little longer to cook but totally worth the effort. Your dish looks delicious.

    • Maggie says:

      Yeah, eggplant takes longer time than other veggies, but it’s very rewarding! Glad to hear you like this dish!

  26. Janette says:

    Thanks for the tips! I don’t know much about cooking eggplant but want to try making it more often so it’s good to know what not to do!

  27. Frances says:

    5 stars
    I love Chinese egfplant, and have tried several recipes like this, looking for just the right taste and texture. This one looked good, and I made it exactly as directed. This was the best Chinese eggplant I ever had! I can’t even think if a restaurant that could beat it. My husband likes it spicy, so I added some dried red chilis. He complained because there wasn’t more-that’s how much we ate! I’m making it again right now! Your technique of salting the egfplant and then adding the cornstarch makes all the difference. I’ll be sure to check out your other recipes. Thanks!!

    • Maggie says:

      Hi Frances, thanks so much for taking time and reporting back your cooking result! I’m so glad to hear you enjoy the dish! Adding chili pepper into it sounds very delicious! I do love my food spicy so I’d like to try it out next time too 🙂
      Happy cooking and hopefully your other dishes will turn out great too!

      • Frances says:

        5 stars
        I just came back here to check the recipe again, because I’m STILL making it! Love it! Thanks again!

  28. lizzie says:

    I made this dish but only soaked the eggplant for 5 minutes in the water and then using tapioca starch. Works just as well. Thanks for the recipe!

    • Maggie says:

      Wow, that sounds great! Will try next time and see how it goes. Sorry I haven’t replied your email yet. Still remember it 🙂
      Have a great start of the week Lizzie!

  29. Liliford says:

    5 stars
    Eating this dish as a main right now, I used American eggplant and the skin is a bit too thick but otherwise it’s very very good. I’m going to get a Chinese eggplant next time I’m near the Asian markets, but I didn’t have time to go this week and I was eager to try it. Definitely one of my favorite dishes now.

    • Maggie says:

      I’m so glad to hear you like the dish! I use American eggplant quite often too, because it is a long trip to Asian market. Sometimes I use mini eggplants because the their skin is thinner. Asian eggplants definitely work better, because they also contain less water.
      Hope you have a great weekend and happy cooking 🙂

  30. Nanci says:

    I love eggplant but have only one or two recipes. I have been salting it for years, too. I usually make it Italian-style. Needed a new recipe! This sounds awesome.

    • Maggie says:

      Glad to hear you like the recipe Nanci! Happy cooking 🙂

  31. Peggy says:

    This is a terrific recipe! I had an eggplant in my farm share that I didn’t know what to do with it. I made this and it was so good I bought several more eggplants.

    • Maggie says:

      So glad to hear you enjoyed the dish Peggy! It’s one of my favorite recipes too 🙂
      Happy cooking and have a fantastic week!

  32. The-FoodTrotter says:

    5 stars
    Your blog is a superb source of inspiration! I love your recipe, it looks stunning and so flavourful!

  33. Glenn says:

    4 stars
    Great recipe. Added a little oyster sauce and fish sauce to the gravy, halving the sugar. Carmelized a yellow onion first and stirred that in with the eggplant to balance the sweetness. Serve it over a nice hearty brown rice. Also quick boiled shrimp and stirred it in at the last second to add protein, texture and soak up all that delicious sauce. This is a keeper

    • Maggie says:

      Hi Glenn, I LOVE the addition of fish sauce and oyster sauce. It reminds me of a dish I had before. YUM! Also, great idea to add a protein towards the end. That makes it a full meal!
      Thanks so much for sharing your ideas and I’m looking forward to trying it out 🙂

    • steph says:

      thanks for the idea to add shrimp 🙂 gonna make this tonight with zucchini and shrimp!

    • steph says:

      5 stars
      Well to update, it was really good! 🙂 Eggplant, onion, zucchini, and shrimp with rice since I wanted it to be a full meal. I tripled the sauce mixture. The only part that I wasn’t fond of was putting cornstarch on the eggplant, it didn’t seem to add anything and just stuck to my wok even in the oil. I’ll leave it out next time. Thanks for the great recipe!

      • Maggie says:

        Hi Steph, I’m glad to hear the dish turned out well! I always cook this dish in a nonstick skillet so I hadn’t come across the sticking issue. The reason I use cornstarch is it creates a slightly crispier texture. Sometimes when I want the eggplant extra crispy, I’d add more cornstarch and more oil (enough to cover the skillet) and the eggplant turns out as good as fried. But I agree with you, you can skip it if you simply stir fry the eggplant with other ingredients in a wok. Thanks for taking time to share your cooking experience 🙂

  34. Irene Lem says:

    5 stars
    Tried this recipe… amazing! Thank you!

    • Maggie says:

      You’re the most welcome Irene! I’m glad to hear you enjoyed the dish 🙂

  35. Donna says:

    Hi Maggie, this dish is dee-lish. Thanks so much for the recipe. I know my partner will love this when he gets back from a trip to U.S. I guess that means I’ll be making it again real soon. ?

    • Maggie says:

      I’m so glad to hear you enjoyed the dish Donna! I hope your partner will love it as well.
      Happy cooking and hope you have a delicious week 🙂

  36. Jane K says:

    5 stars
    Great recipe. Super easy. I added charred yellow bell peppers and a variety of mushrooms. I will definitely remake.

    • Maggie says:

      Hi Jane, thanks so much for trying out the recipe and taking time to leave a comment! This is one of my favorite dishes. I’m glad to hear you enjoyed it too 🙂

      • Donna says:

        5 stars
        Hi Maggie, I have been cooking so many different dishes lately that I have only just gotten back to your eggplant dish. I cooked it for my partner and he has declared this as his favourite dish ever and that he only wants to eat this from now on! ?He can’t stop raving about how awesome it is and how much he loves it. I guess I know what I’ll be doing with the other 2 eggplants in the fridge. By the way I loved it too!

  37. Rahila gupta says:

    5 stars
    I love this dish but don’t always find it in a Chinese restaurant so I thought I would try this recipe. It was brilliant. I added sliced red chilli because I like a little heat and also added a little more dark soya sauce (by mistake) than instructed but it worked very well. Also the shallow frying method after letting it sit for an hour in salt and covered with cornflour gave the aubs (eggplants to US residents) a perfect texture.

    • Maggie says:

      Hi Rahila, I’m glad to hear you tried out the recipe and enjoyed the dish! Adding red chili sounds so yummy, and a bit more dark soy sauce never hurts 🙂
      Nowadays I use this method to cook almost all my eggplants and I love the texture too.
      Hope you have a delicious week ahead!

  38. Sabrina B. says:

    nice use of eggplant and love the garlic sauce, thank you for this recipe!

  39. Bert says:

    Confusion: How much salt in water if using second method? Intro and ingredients list calls for 1/2 tsp but Step 2 calls for 1 tsp.

    • Maggie says:

      Hi Bert, sorry about the confusing salt quantity. It should be 1 teaspoon salt. I just updated the ingredient list.
      Thank you for pointing it out!

  40. Jez B says:

    Love this recipe for one of my favourite vegetables. As you have noted,it’s so easy to get aubergine(eggplant) wrong. You’re advice is informative, effective and remains interesting at the same time. Good job. And as a westerner I appreciate the nods to good brands/products to use. I was all LKK now having found and tried LAOGANMA,I look forward to the next tip. Keep it up.

    • Maggie says:

      Hi Jez, thanks so much for your kind words! So far this is one of my favorite ways to cook eggplant on stovetop. It works well every time 🙂
      I’m glad you like the Lao Gan Ma sauce as well! It is quite addictive and I use it to cook veggies whenever I feel lazy. Because I don’t need to chop any aromatics and the dish will turn out amazing 🙂

  41. Iris says:

    Do you think this would be good if I added ground beef?

    • Maggie says:

      Hi Iris, yes of course, you can brown some ground beef and add them at the end. Depends on how much meat you add, you might want to consider to reduce the eggplant or double the sauce.
      Happy cooking and hope your dish turns out great 🙂

  42. nancy says:

    1 star
    How did this get so many good reviews when there was no recipe to make the sauce?

    • Maggie says:

      Hi Nancy, sorry for the confusion. This is one of my early day recipes where I use just enough sauce to coat the ingredients (the soy sauce and cornstarch makes a very simple sauce), which is the way we cook in northern China. If you like more sauce in the dish, simply add 1/4 cup chicken stock and 1 more teaspoon cornstarch in step 4. Or you can even further double it. Hope you would still like to try out the dish 🙂

  43. sharon says:

    This came out awesome ! thanks so much for the recipe! .. I used a little less less oil in cooking the eggplant, added a spoonful of spicy garlic to the soy sauce and added a little water at the end and it made it the perfect sauciness! So great to have this low oil eggplant !!

    • Maggie says:

      I’m so glad to hear you tried and like the recipe, Sharon! Me too, I like to cook eggplant with less oil but keep the texture right ? Adding spicy garlic sounds super yummy! I’d like to try that out myself the next time!

      • M says:

        When I started to grow my first eggplant, I was dreaming of making Beijing-style garlic eggplant. When I searched online, I could only find Sichuan-style recipes for a while until I came across yours. I harvested my first eggplant crop yesterday and made your recipe tonight. It turned out exactly how I was hoping. Thanks for publishing this!

  44. Robin Fisher says:

    5 stars
    Hi Maggie
    Thank you so much for posting this. I lived in China for 3 years and this was my favourite dish! I never used to eat eggplant before. Your recipe is perfect, I’ve had no problems with it and it is so delicious!
    I did have one question though. While I was living in Guangzhou there was a dish I had. I’ve been searching online all over for it. I suppose I could improvise it, but I was wondering if maybe you knew it. It was a shredded firm tofu, like square thick spaghetti and it was in a ginger soy sauce, with green onions, sautéed (Woked) of course. Ginger was the dominant flavor but I wasn’t sure of the other things. Maybe sesame oil, maybe hoisin. Do you know of this dish?

    • Maggie says:

      Hi Robin, thanks so much for taking the time to leave a comment, and I’m glad to hear the recipe worked for you!
      To answer your question about the stir fried tofu, I think it is usually stir fried with very simple seasonings, just like you said. If I make the dish, I might also add a bit freshly ground Sichuan peppercorns (or a pinch of five spice powder) to add aroma. A spoonful of oyster sauce adds great flavorful too, but it’s more Cantonese style. If you want a bit more sauce, use 1/4 cup chicken stock with 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch at the end.
      To speak of the shredded smoked tofu, I finally found it in Asian market last weekend. I’ll be making it soon and maybe sharing the recipe on the blog 🙂
      Does the tofu dish you had use celery? The one I had usually have celery in it.

  45. Ellbee says:

    I just made this tonight, exactly as written and it is delicious. Even my kids love it. We served it alone with jasmine rice. Thank you so much for the recipe. Now I am getting Chinese eggplant every time I come home from the Asian market!

    • Maggie says:

      Hi Ellbee, thank you for taking the time to leave a comment, and I’m glad to hear you enjoyed the dish! We do the same thing, getting Chinese eggplant every time we visit the Asian market 😉
      Hope you have a great week ahead!

  46. Paul M. Carman says:

    We have a lot of eggplant ready to harvest from the garden. I appreciate your tips. I never knew of the brine technique prior to cooking. I think I will take what you have shared and combine with a little Szechuan beef and scallion.

    • Maggie says:

      Hi Paul, I’m glad to hear you’d like to try out this recipe! I also used the same method in this recipe and used a bit more oil to fry the eggplant:
      It uses minced meat and more sauce, probably closer to the version you’re looking for 🙂
      Happy cooking and let me know how the didsh turns out!

  47. Anna says:

    5 stars
    I have never bothered to leave a comment on any recipe that I’ve tried before, but this one was just WOW. This was my first time making/eating chinese eggplants even though I’m 100% chinese. I’ve only ever had eggplant parmesan like once or twice before. They were on sale at our local asian market though, so I thought why not? 8-10 minutes feels like an eternity to me, and with two batches, it’s a miracle I had the patience. But it was totally worth it. I think I’m definitely going to have to go back and get like 10 more eggplants so I can eat this for days. So good!

    • Maggie says:

      Hi Anna, I don’t cook eggplant that often because it’s quite time consuming. But for this recipe, it’s totally worth the effort 😉
      Thanks so much for your kind words, and I’m so glad to hear you enjoyed the dish! You just made my day 🙂

  48. janine says:

    Hey Maggie thanks for the cooking tips. i love eggplant but have always have the problem of it soaking up so much oil. This is so great and i have two nice shiny eggplants im going to prepare tonight! 🙂

    • Maggie says:

      Glad to hear you’re going to try out this recipe Janine! Happy cooking and let me know how the dish turns out 🙂

  49. Marie says:

    5 stars
    Great recipe! This is my first time cooking eggplant, and thanks to your recipe it was a success! The step by step instructions with pictures was so helpful. I subbed avocado oil, pure maple syrup for the sugar, and tamari sauce. I also put the eggplant over top some quinoa. I topped it off with green onions and roasted sesame seeds. Delish! Thanks again!

  50. Ian Steep says:

    Hi Maggie

    Once again, a triumph. I love the way eggplant is used in Chinese cuisine. I messed up the steps but got the same effect. I floured the eggplant and fried it. I found I had to add a bit of water with soy sauce at the end and added scallions, potato (previously fried from another of your recipes) and some sugar snap peas. Maybe two tblsp of oil. No need for sugar or added salt. I found the rice, not surprisingly, redundant. Fantastic outcome. Will be a favorite. Thank you!

    Ian, Sydney, Australia

    • Maggie says:

      Hi Ian, I’m so happy to hear you like this recipe! Yes, I love to fry the eggplant too if I want to create an extra crispy result, although I do use cornstarch instead of flour. It gives you a crunchier texture.
      Yep, I know the other recipe you’re talking about. I think the potato and snap peas would work great in this dish. I would make extra sauce if I serve the dish with rice. But you’re right, I don’t really need the rice if I already added potatoes in it.
      Hope you have a great week ahead and looking forward to hearing what you will cook the next 🙂

  51. dhu says:

    5 stars
    I just made this!
    This is soooooo BOMB!
    I am now very excited to cook this for my friends. Thank for the excellent tip with the aubergine to prevent it from soaking the oil.

    • Maggie says:

      So happy to hear you made the dish and liked it! I hope your friends will like it as much as you do. Happy cooking! 🙂

  52. Sam says:

    OMG Thanks for the eggplant tip!! Using too much oil is always my biggest problem with eggplant but I LOVE eggplant. Will definitely give this a try!

    • Maggie says:

      Happy cooking Sam! I hope your dish turned out great and let me know how it goes 🙂

  53. Jazmon Johnson says:

    Thanks for the recipe. I made it and it’s really good!

  54. Melyssa Soles says:

    I can’t wait to try this recipe!

  55. Geri says:

    This has a fantastic taste. I didn’t have fresh ginger, so added 1/8 tsp to the soy sauce mixture. Also I used a bit of sesame oil with the garlic. Yum!

  56. Vinothyni Suppiah says:

    Hi – I would like to know roughly how you estimate the nutritional fact?
    Was that done by calculation? Please advise

  57. Lucy says:

    I just saw this recipe. (I will definitely going to explore more of your website)
    I am going to try it in a few hours for my Christmas Eve dinner. I can’t wait! Thank you so much.

    • Maggie says:

      You’re the most welcome Lucy! Happy cooking and hope your eggplant turns out great.
      Happy New Year to you and your family 🙂

  58. Elena says:

    5 stars
    this is an easy one to make and soo tasty!!! we loved it!

    • Maggie says:

      I’m so glad to hear it Elena! Happy Holidays 🙂

  59. Catherine says:

    5 stars
    Hi! I had an eggplant that was about 2 days away from being not-so-fresh. I wasn’t really cooking to eat, but more so because Itvwas a cold Saturday and hey… it’s cooking! I love the chicken and eggplant that my local Chinese Resturant prepares so I thought I’d look up a recipe. I was instantly drawn to your recipe for the eggplant based solely on the picture. Beautifully browned and glistening eggplant=yum. I cook and always try new things so I was excited to give it a whirl. Evertthing went according to plan-yay! I added cilantro at the end as a garnish and am looking forward to eating it cold out of the refrigerator as is. Also will make some rice noodles and toss them together tomorrow. That kind you for the very user friendly recipe. It’s a keeper for me for sure!

  60. Angela says:

    5 stars
    I’ve always had trouble cooking eggplant through while keeping the flavor in, but this recipe was perfect! The eggplant turned out a lovely texture with a lovely sear on the outside that added a depth of flavor while the inside was perfectly soft. Now I can finally stop going to restaurants for my eggplant fix 🙂

    • Maggie says:

      Hi Angela, I’m so glad to hear you made this dish and enjoyed it! Thank you for taking time to leaving a comment 🙂
      Have an awesome week ahead!

  61. Jen says:

    Can’t wait to try this recipe! It looks like you garnished this dish with green onions?

  62. Stephanie 石 says:

    5 stars
    Yum! I didn’t know this dish is so easy! Thank you fof such detailed recipe! I burnt some eggplants! Still taste great! I’m surprised that it didn’t taste oily at all like from the restaurant! ?

  63. Andrea says:

    This was delicious! Next time I’d double the sauce. I couldn’t find Chinese eggplant so I used the small Italian eggplant and it worked fine. You just need something with fewer seeds.

    • Maggie says:

      Hi Andrea, I’m so happy to hear you like the recipe! Yes, it totally makes sense to make more sauce. Me too, I use other types of eggplant when I cannot find Asian eggplant, and they work well as long as I soak them in advance.
      Can’t wait to hear what you cook the next 🙂

  64. Jenny says:

    Cooking now! It’s smells amazing, added chicken. Serving with white rice. I’m wondering how it would taste with hoisin sauce? Maybe next time:). Thank you for the recipe. Pinned to my “recipe blogging friends” board.

    • Thomas says:

      Hi Jenny, thanks for your note. I hope the eggplant came out tasty! Are you thinking of using hoisin on the side or in the recipe itself? Hoisin has some overlap with the combination of two soy sauces, sugar, and cornstarch, so it could be a convenient shortcut. Let us know if you try it next time, and maybe we can include an alternate approach 🙂

  65. Regina says:

    Hi i tried the eggplant recipe and got compliments from my hubby!! Thanks for sharing your recipes. I took some pics too but dunno where to post it here. Thanks!!! Now i dont have to deep fry eggplants anymore! So happy

    • Thomas says:

      Hi Regina! Thanks for leaving a comment! Maggie’s own hubby here, and I definitely approve this eggplant recipe, having tried it countless times 🙂 If you have Instagram or Facebook, you can upload the photos there and tag omnivorescookbook. If not, you can email them to Maggie.

  66. David says:

    The recipe looks wonderful. I have adapted it on the fly because someone had chopped and prepped the eggplant too soon. Was doing a worchester sauce/vinegar based dish, but I expect it will mix well. And eggplant is the perfect vegetable for us meat eaters who live with vegetarians and vegans. It gives the same feel.

  67. Heema Shanker says:

    5 stars
    Garlic sauce recepie can be posted also.
    It looks delicious

  68. Robin Springer says:

    This looks so AMAZING! Oh, I want this sooo bad! 🙂

  69. Lorinda Smith says:

    Very good,made it once!!making it again..tasty

  70. Carolyn Wyse says:

    5 stars
    I just made this tonight and it was so delicious! Thank you for the wonderful recipe.

  71. Nadia says:

    5 stars
    Amazing recipe and technique. Better than take out!!

  72. Barbara says:

    5 stars
    This technique made me fall all-over in love with eggplant again. Fantastic.

  73. Felila says:

    I think you left out an ingredient, water. I only realized this on the last step. Combing it all together in the pan. I quickly added some but did not know how much, so it turned out thick and strong still. Otherwise, I think it would have been great. Looking forward to trying more recipes from you. Felila

  74. Russ Charif says:

    5 stars
    I cut the sugar in the sauce in half and increased the sauce amount, I also stir-fried in some sweet red pepper and baby bok choi to vary color and texture between the garlic/ginger mix and adding the eggplant. Result was excellent– I’ll be doing this one again. Thanks!

  75. Meryem says:

    I thank you very much for an amazing recipe for the eggplant dish!
    It is so easy to follow and very well guided.
    Thank you 🙏

  76. Joann says:

    5 stars
    This was SO good! Absolutely delightful! Thank you for a great recipe.

  77. Nana Lorenzana says:

    I’ve done this recipe twice using the first prep method. I love it and it’s now in my list of favorites!

  78. Joanie says:

    5 stars
    Best eggplant I have ever made! Great instructions and easy to follow. My family was very impressed. Thank you Maggie!

  79. Anh says:

    5 stars
    I made this eggplant recipe tonight for a family dinner. It was a great hit. The cornstarch makes it crispy and pan fried made less oily. Made it it ground pork and everyone loved it. Thank you so much for your recipe

  80. SD Bart says:

    5 stars
    Just tried this recipe tonight — the eggplant came out crispy on the outside and tender inside. I stir fried some chicken separately and combined it with the eggplant. Will repeat shortly with some variations — Thai basil.

  81. Sharon says:

    Maggie, thanks for this delicious recipe! I did have one problem and I’m hoping you can help. I have the same problem every time I cook eggplant – I use too much oil and the eggplant turns out soggy and greasy. But, how can you cook so much eggplant in just 1 tablespoon of oil? As soon as the eggplant starts cooking, it soaks up all of the oil and I add more. What should I do when the eggplant soaks up the oil? If I don’t add more oil, will it still cook well? I did soak the eggplant for 15 minutes in salt water and I coated it with corn starch. However, I used regular eggplant (not the Chinese eggplant) and olive oil (instead of peanut oil). Not sure if this makes a difference in how the eggplant responds to the oil. Any tips you can give me is appreciated!

    • Maggie says:

      Hi Sharon, you are right, I do need more than 1 tablespoon oil to cook all the eggplant. In the past, I’ve used as little as 2 to 3 tablespoons oil in total with a nonstick pan and got a great result. I would use 1 tablespoon oil per batch when I cook them in batches, and add more when I cook a new batch. I wouldn’t add more oil immediately when the oil is soaked. I just keep grilling them in the hot pan until it’s cooked.
      On the other hand, when I want the eggplant extra crispy (like fried), I do use a bit more cornstarch and oil.
      And yes, I think the regular eggplant tends to soak more oil than the Chinese eggplant because it has a less dense texture.

  82. Raneal Engineer says:

    5 stars
    Really love the whole soaking eggplant before cooking it works REALLY well and I now always cook eggplant this way!

  83. Anna Vizard says:

    Thank you for the recipe. This is one of my favorite Chinese dishes. I have shared it with friends.

  84. Bushra says:

    5 stars
    Thanks for writing such clear & easy directions. It was fast and delicious.

    • Alicia R. says:

      Confused about the 1/2 Tablespoon of oil listed in the ingredients vs. the 1/2 teaspoon listed in step #7. Also, I only have regular soy sauce, not light. Hope it won’t make a huge difference as I’m getting to make it now.

  85. Vanessa says:

    5 stars
    This recipe was so easy and delicious! We added hot chili oil. Thanks so much 🙂

  86. Jaco says:

    5 stars
    Made the dish with local aubergine. Fantastic. Nothing left.

  87. Jaco says:

    Absolutely brilliant – have done it twice. Second time with fresh chilli – Devine.

  88. Linda says:

    5 stars
    This recipe is amazing! Honestly, I was going to give up on cooking eggplants if this recipe didn’t work. Now that I know how to make this, I will be making it again and again. Thank you for this delicious recipe, can’t wait to try out your other recipes!!

  89. Lilly-Kate says:

    5 stars
    I love, love, love your blog! You are doing wonders for promoting Chinese culture. 🌹 I’ve just made this dish . Doing my rice and lunch is ready to eat. Chinese way prepared eggplant is better than meat. ♥

  90. alexi says:

    5 stars
    Loved it and it’s very easy! Thank you!

  91. Grammy Mo says:

    5 stars
    Absolutely delicious I followed the recipe exactly except I used regular eggplant. So delicious that my family and I could not stop eating it until it was all gone. Finally the mystery of preparing eggplant has been explained. I used method #2 and it worked amazingly. Thank you for a recipe that has now become one of our family’s favorite.

  92. Cinnamon Vogue says:

    5 stars
    Chinese food is my favorite and egg plant Chinese style is on top. I got addicted to Chinese growing up in Hong Kong.. The only thing I don’t like is the corn starch and the sugar. Maybe one day you can create a recipe without those two ingredients. However this recipe is nicely done. Egg plants are a pain to cook so this is really appreciated.. The photos with step by step instructions are brilliant. Thank you.

  93. Elena says:

    5 stars
    Perfect recipe thank you so much

  94. Omnia abu elgasim Hassan says:

    the recepi is very delicious. i need to know can we add lemon at the serving time

    • Maggie says:

      We don’t usually serve the dish with lemon in China but why not! I think it will work nicely.

  95. E Hsieh says:

    4 stars
    This was the first time I made Chinese eggplant successfully! Thank you for the wonderful sauce, which was quick, easy, and delicious. I like a little spice in my eggplant, so next time I will add some chili pepper and Taiwanese basil.

  96. Irene says:

    5 stars
    This was an excellent recipe and turned out great! Thank you so much!

  97. JM says:

    5 stars
    I’ve been trying to replicate an eggplant dish I had for a little while and this is it. It was easy to cook and came out delicious! I doubled the sauce recipe and added shrimp before adding the cooked eggplant. Will definitely cook again.

  98. Conny says:

    5 stars
    I mad this dish today and it was delicious. I love eggplants. Because of your good description it was easy to make and all worked out very well. So, so good. I’ll make it again next week, that’s for sure. Thanks for sharing.

  99. Holly says:

    5 stars
    This was amazing! I’m hooked. I’ve stayed up past my bedtime browsing your recipes, tips, etc. Can’t wait to try the next recipe. 🙂

  100. Lea Haber says:

    5 stars
    i am stunned!! this was so so good, the aubergine preparation makes it so crispy and moist

  101. Anh Quang says:

    Omg I J just used your recipe!! It was sooooo good!!!
    Thanks for sharing!! 🙏🏼

  102. Paige Morehouse says:

    5 stars
    OH MY GOODNESS. What awesome flavors! My first try came out so yummy, I’ll make it again. I had braised eggplant in a Chinese restaurant and I was hooked. I didn’t know eggplant could taste so fabulous. It’s all in the process. I’ll be trying more of your recipes.

  103. paul says:

    5 stars
    Love it. Made it many times.

  104. Ellen says:

    5 stars
    Delicious! Made this several times.

  105. afoodaficionado says:

    5 stars
    Thank you for this recipe. Though there were alot of steps, it was worth it for the delicous final product! I have been following you for awhile. I had been meaning to make a recipe of yours, when my mom had given me 5 chinese egg plants, I knew it was time to make it. (Time took a bit longer with all the eggplant I had though.) So delicious and flavorful.

  106. Leslie Millrod says:

    5 stars
    totally delicious! so glad I discovered this recipe!

  107. ERINA says:

    4 stars
    Hi Maggie, Excellent recipe. Easy to follow and easy to make. I look forward to trying more from your site.

  108. Pam says:

    5 stars
    So easy and even more delicious. Added red pepper flakes and only had hoisin and soy sauces on hand, and it worked well. Served on brown rice noodles…yum!

  109. Sasha Namsoo says:

    I tried this recipe and added just a 1/2 teaspoon of sambal to give it a kick and I doubled the amount of sauce. It was absolutely delicious! I loved how easy it was to make! Thank you for the recipe 😊

  110. R B says:

    5 stars
    This recipe was great! I followed the recipe except substituted a little honey instead of sugar (since I had no sugar), and used all less sodium soy sauce since I ran out of dark soy sauce. Even with these substitutions it was delicious with the eggplant soft and the sauce the right consistency and flavor. The only thing different than what I have from my local chinese restaurant is that their asian eggplant looks a bit more purple and mine darker, even though it started out purple. Maybe overcooking on the skin side? Regardless, this recipe is a keeper. Thank you!

  111. Karen Marlow says:

    Is there something I can replace the cornstarch with, I try to eat as little starch as possible, also, what is the point of soaking the eggplant – is that simply the idea of reducing bitterness?

    • Maggie says:

      Hi Karen, I think you can skip the cornstarch in the recipe. The sauce won’t thicken so much at the end and give the eggplant a glossy look like the one showed in my picture, but the dish should still taste well.
      Soaking the eggplant in saltwater draw the moisture out of the eggplant, so they will have a firmer texture and crisp up better while cooking. I highly recommend it.

  112. Laura C says:

    5 stars
    This was fantastic and the instructions were perfect. We loved it. Thank you!

  113. Laura C says:

    What a wonderful dish. This was fantastic and the instructions were perfect. We loved it. Thank you!

  114. Katness says:

    5 stars
    Made this using Chinese eggplants and the salt water soaking method. It was my first time in decades eating eggplants becayse I never liked the consistency previously. Alone, the starch covered pan-roasted eggplant were very good, even having a little sweetness, which I was not expecting. After mixing eggplant chunks with the thuckened sauce, it was even better. Overall, this was a pleasant surprise that it was very yummy. I will add this to my regular dinner veg options. Thanks for getting me back on the eggplant bandwagon!

  115. Ed Chan says:

    5 stars
    Simply, easy to follow and excellent! No need to order this at a restaurant any longer

  116. Jonathan Roakes says:

    5 stars
    Best eggplant I have eaten hands down!

  117. Monique says:

    5 stars
    Amazing! Best eggplant dish hands down! And so quick and easy

  118. Elke Speliopoulos says:

    5 stars
    This recipe makes even eggplant-loathers friends of eggplants. Everyone who has tried this was amazed at the wonderful taste.

  119. Susan says:

    5 stars
    Really good and easy-to-follow recipe, thank you so much!

  120. Pat says:

    5 stars
    I love this recipe and return to it over and over when I want eggplant. Will try the steamed eggplant you had last week next.

  121. Emily says:

    I cannot wait to try this recipe!!! From the comments, this seems to be a crowd favorite!

    Quick question: do you ever choose to remove the skin on the eggplant? Does that make a difference in cooking style, time, etc?

    Thank you!! So excited to try.

    • Maggie says:

      Hi Emily, I wouldn’t remove the skin if I use the long Asian eggplants, because the skin is thin and it’s very tasty.
      If I use a large American eggplant, sometimes I would partially remove the skin to get a better texture.
      It doesn’t make a difference in cooking time etc.

  122. Garth says:

    5 stars
    Love this recipe!

  123. Debbie says:

    5 stars
    Everyone loved it. Kids included

  124. QA says:

    Because of quarantine, I’m learning how to cook and I’ve stocked up on veggies. Will give this recipe a try! Looks delicious! A question, do you think I can use oyster sauce as “dark soy sauce”? I have ordinary supermarket soy sauce as well.

    • Maggie says:

      Yes I think you can! Happy cooking 🙂

      • QA says:

        5 stars
        I just tried it! We didn’t have cornstarch, so the sauce wasn’t as thick, and I used oyster sauce instead of dark soy sauce. Very delicious!! Super favorful, my mom and I finished lunch in 5 mins haha. Will definitely do this again! Also, I’m just learning how to cook, so bonus points for the easiness of this while still coming out very tasty.

  125. Marie says:

    5 stars
    I really enjoyed this dish, it was so good! Simple to make and very tasty, I also like that not much oil is used. If you soak the eggplant in water, it won’t absorb the oil. Thank you!

  126. Lochy says:

    5 stars

  127. marsfromva says:

    This recipe was a walk-off homerun. Delish & very simple. I would like it sweeter to taste & make it spicy. If I more sugar & pepper or pepper flakes, will that do the trick?

    • Maggie says:

      Yes, I can more sugar and pepper (fresh or flakes) is the way to go!

  128. Christine says:

    5 stars
    I just made this and it was delicious! Thank you and please share more vegan Chinese recipes! 🙂

  129. Lee says:

    5 stars
    This was the best eggplant I’ve ever had, even better than my mom’s version (and she is the most amazing cook I know). Thank you!!

  130. sally nochowitz says:

    It was delicious. We loved the garlic eggplant. No leftovers. Every bite gone

  131. Fred says:

    My 2nd successful chinese dish thanks to you, Maggie!
    My wife, from Beijing, and a teenager, from Shanghai commented their approval as they finished the entire dish.
    I took care to not burn anything-your recipe and descriptions are perfect.
    As my pairings I made simple flour/water bun fried with broad leaf (grass like) chive/eggs/bacon filling with white and yellow rice congee.

  132. Elizabeth Y says:

    5 stars
    I didn’t have asian eggplants but I tried it anyways and GLAD i did! It was so delicious, instead of sugar I used honey and only had dark sory sauce. Threw some toasted sesame seeds and scallions in the end. Plated it with baby spinach and brown rice. Will be saving this recipe! Thanks 🙂

  133. Helen Barlow says:

    5 stars
    Really amazing recipe–my favorite Asian eggplant recipe by far! I soaked the cut up eggplant in salted water for1 hour and then drained and dried the pieces before following this recipe…I’d learned this trick from another chef. It keeps the eggplant moist and plump. Then I followed all of the steps here. The cornstarch made for a luxuriously beautiful, light dish which was a revelation as eggplant has a tendency to soak up so much oil. Not in this case! The texture and flavors were spectacular–by far, the best preparation I’ve come across. This recipe will absolutely be my go-to recipe for Chinese eggplant.

  134. Billie says:

    5 stars
    My absolute favorite thing for take out!!! So happy to know how to do it properly at home!!!!

  135. Kim says:

    I made this and it was soooo delicious!! I added mushrooms and then added tofu I’d tossed in the wok ahead of time to make a meal out of it. I increased the sauce. I find the process of charring the eggplant really well and the mushrooms is key to the rich, smoky flavour. Wow! Thanks for the recipe.

  136. Fred says:

    5 stars
    Better than our favorite restaurant.
    2nd time I made it. Big difference.
    Lower heat, longer cooking. Resulted in less char and the eggplant ‘releasing’ more than my 1st time.

  137. Elisabeth says:

    5 stars
    So easy and so delicious. Thx for that super easy recipe.

  138. Justin says:

    Mmmm! Even the kids really liked it. Next time I may double the sauce

  139. Connie Dominguez says:

    5 stars
    This was super…what a hit! I saved half to make tomorrow so I can have another great dinner! I didn’t change anything and the eggplant had great texture & flavor. Sharing. Thank you!

  140. maine says:

    5 stars
    We had this and your squid with vegetables for lunch yesterday and they were delicious! Clean plate! Thanks Maggi! Now going through your recipe list for our next lunch menu 😉

  141. Debbie says:

    Amazing! I substituted the sugar with erythritol for my keto vegan diet.

  142. tim chipman says:

    5 stars
    Fantastic recipie. Best success I’ve had with this style of dish yet. Thanks for all the detailed hints! I made it last night for dinner – I only had a ‘regular’ eggplant on hand so used that; it worked just fine. (Rinse off outside of eggplant briefly; trimmed off ‘top and bottom ends’ then sliced it into ~2cm thick ’rounds’. Used those in the recipie / otherwise it was more or less identical process. Turned out really well. really yummy! Thanks again for sharing this method.

  143. Peter Beckles says:

    In describing the preparation you said that one way was to slice the eggplant and salt the slices. In the second method you don’t suggest slicing at all. Also in this method you first say use 1/4 tsp salt then later in the recipe you say 1 tsp salt. Please explain.
    (I cut up the eggplant anyway in the second method and used 1 tsp salt. It made more sense).

  144. Danielle says:

    5 stars
    This was so easy and delicious. Highly recommend.

  145. Melissa says:

    5 stars
    I’ve made this a few times already and it’s SOOO good! Yesterday was the first time I tried the paper towel/wait for 45 minutes method of de-moisturizing the eggplant just because I had the time. Almost prefer that method more than the other one; but usually when I make this I want it right away. Tastes just as good as restaurant versions if not better. Thank you for the recipe and great step-by-step instructions. I’m the only one in my family that will eat eggplant now that my daughter moved out of the house–oh well, more for me.

  146. Caroline says:

    5 stars
    so yummy! No Chinese eggplant at my grocery store so I used one giant conventional eggplant and it still tastes good. Thanks for the recipe

  147. Christine Veziina says:

    This was a great side. Added bok choy to it. Very easy to make. Will repeat this dish.

  148. Kgesb says:

    5 stars
    Wonderful, just like in Beijing! I’ve been wanting to recreate for years, and this brought me back in an instant! Thank you!

  149. Huey says:

    I tired your method and is delicious yet not too oily as I thought. Good tips!! Thank you so much.

  150. Sam says:

    5 stars
    mind blowingly good… crazy… this is now a staple in our house

  151. Allison says:

    3 stars
    I tried the salting method and it made the finished dish taste incredibly salty! Agh. Next time I would rinse the salt off or try the soaking method.

  152. Norina Sfeir says:

    What does the second character from the left mean. I know the first one is “red”. What is the second? XIe xie!

    Also, you are going to confuse people by calling this dish eggplant with garlic sauce. When you go to a Chinese restaurant in the US and see eggplant with garlic sauce on the menu, the dish it refers to is yu Hsiang chiedz, or fish fragrant eggplant, your other dish.

    This is my favorite Chinese dish. We will have it tonight. Can’t wait!

    • Maggie says:

      Hi Norina, the second character means “cook” or “braise”.
      Yeah I’ve noticed the name problem after I moved to the US. The recipe was published long before I got to know American Chinese food. Too late to change though! I already have the fish fragrant eggplant on this blog and changing things might further confuse people.
      PS. What would you call this dish?

  153. Norina Sfeir says:

    That eggplant was beyond awesome! Best I have ever eaten, and I used to live in Hong Kong! I have been waiting my whole life for the secret to making Chinese eggplant! Brava, Maggie!

  154. Alan says:

    Maybe a third method to avoid using too much oil on eggplants is to cut them into pieces, then microwave for 5 minutes in a bowl (with a lid to retain some moisture). The salt treatment or heating basically extract the water from the eggplant into the spongy part of the fruit, thus preventing oil from filling the holes.

    • Maggie says:

      Hi Alan, thanks for sharing this! Can’t wait to try out your method 🙂

  155. Rania says:

    Hi, I did the recipe. Absolutely delicious! I added some pepper flakes for spicy flavor and some leeks and I also did the zucchini I had the same way! Thank you! 😊

  156. Gay says:

    5 stars
    Easy recipe & it turned out so delicious! This is one of my favorite dishes to order at the restaurant but now I can make it! Thanks for the recipe!

  157. Rachel says:

    5 stars
    This was amazing. My new favorite way to make eggplant. I do have to say, because I like the slightly bitter flavor of some eggplant, I skipped the soaking in water and draining with salt. THAT was the only change I made.

  158. Jin says:

    5 stars
    This was excellent, highly recommend.

  159. Fiona says:

    4 stars
    This is so so good!! I used a conventional eggplant since I couldn’t get a Chinese one. I was worried about the skin being too thick since people mentioned it in the comments, but it’s not a problem at all!

    My only problem is that I wish I had used a bigger eggplant because I want more!

  160. Evan says:

    5 stars
    This was my first time cooking eggplant and I followed the tip on soaking it and it turned out so well! Every recipe of yours I’ve tried always works wonderfully 🙂

  161. Louise Samson says:

    5 stars
    Another winner from you.
    I am not a fan of eggplant yet I find this dish addictive.
    Thank you for all your great postings!!!

  162. Laslo Veci says:

    5 stars

  163. Skipper Plitt says:

    5 stars
    This is hands down the best eggplant recipe I have made. The only thing I added was toasted sesame seeds after it was cooked. I served it with steam broccoli and roasted Szechuan asparagus.

  164. ForkBetter says:

    5 stars
    Turned out just how I hoped. Yum.

  165. Lauren Pinzka says:

    5 stars
    Very easy recipe with excellent results! I cut the eggplant in long vertical strips instead of smaller pieces and it turned out extremely well that way. Thanks so much !

  166. Rayann says:

    This was absolutely delicious! I threw in a handful of tiny bay scallops with the ginger and onions and we ate it over rice as the main course. I also really appreciated the eggplant “tricks” to pretreat before cooking, including the cornstarch dusting. A question: to make it a little more saucy next time. I thought about just doubling or tripling the sauce, but was afraid it would make it too salty? I already found some of the eggplant pieces a little salty after toweling off the salt during the pre-cooking treatment (next time, I’m going to try the pre-soak treatment). I added a splash of chicken broth instead. Wonderful! Can’t wait to try more eggplant recipes as I currently have a garden abundance. Thanks!

    • Maggie says:

      Hi Rayann, I’m glad to hear you like the recipe! The eggplant will be less salty if you use the water bath method.
      As for the sauce, you can double it without issue (if using the water bath method to prepare it). If you’re still worried, use 1/4 cup chicken broth with 1 teaspoon cornstarch to dilute it.

  167. Bruce says:

    5 stars
    first time I made Chinese Eggplant following your recipe (tweeted little w/more garlic, less sugar), was a big success… Yujing will expect this again at dinner very soon 😋

  168. Billie says:

    5 stars
    My absolute favorite take out item!! No more, making it at home!!! Thank you!!!!!

  169. Gary says:

    Maggie…..I’m going to make this tonight to go on the side with some spice MaPo Tofu…..Love that photo of your small NYC kitchen and the photo of you in torn jeans from a few years ago. Gorgeous!

  170. Gary says:

    Hi Maggie…..made this last night and it was excellent. Thanks for the salt/soaking technique which I used. In the past I have just coated the eggplant with cornstarch but it is the soaking in salt water that is KEY to keeping the shape/texture and integrity of the eggplant together. To think that for years I never used the salting method and it was always a bit mushy. Thanks again for this tip…..and you are gorgeous!

  171. Skip Plitt says:

    5 stars
    Maggie, every recipe that I have tried has exceeded my expectations. I was about to give up cooking Chinese and then found you and your website. I have probably made this at least half a dozen times in the past two months. You have inspired me. Thank you.

  172. Sherman Brown says:

    Followed the recipe almost to the “T”, but didn’t have chilis so substituted Korean gochujang for the spicy addition. The dish came out excellent. Thanks for the recipe.

  173. Mary says:

    This was truly delicious! Directions were easy to follow and the pictures confirmed any doubt. Thank you !

  174. Rozalia says:

    5 stars
    easy to follow recipe and turned out delicious!
    highly recommend

  175. Maureen says:

    5 stars
    Thank you-wonderful recipe!

  176. Christina says:

    5 stars
    This recipe is incredible!! I love love love how the eggplant came out!

  177. Wanda says:

    5 stars
    Yum!! Love eggplant! Found this recipe and my husband made it. Used two eggplants……we ate it all in one sitting. Thanks !

  178. Tess says:

    LOVE this recipe!

    During the initial prepping of the great deal I got from the farmer’s market, 5 lb of Chinese eggplant (19 pcs) for $1.99, I thought this is going to be a bear, and I will only do this one time.

    It took me one and half hour from prep to finish. Since I like the crunchiness from Step 5, I can’t stop eating it. So I purposely left a batch aside. Then I continue to cook and use Lee Kum Kee Black Bean Garlic Sauce. When it is almost done, I forgot I have saved some cooked ground pork n beef with green onions for this dish.

    So I put half of it away, n add the ground meat to the remaining eggplant.

    All three are delicious and will definitely spend the extra time to prep the eggplant!VE this recipe!

    During the initial prepping of the great deal I got from the farmer’s market, 5 lb of Asian long eggplant (19 pcs) for $1.99, I thought this is going to be a bear, and I will only do this one time.

    It took me one and half hour from prep to finish. Since I like the crunchiness from Step 5, I can’t stop eating it. So I purposely left a batch aside. Then I continue to cook and use Lee Kum Kee Black Bean Garlic Sauce. When it is almost done, I forgot I have saved some cooked ground pork n beef with green onions for this dish.

    So I put half of it away, n add the ground meat to the remaining eggplant.

    All three are delicious and will definitely spend the extra time to prep the eggplant!

  179. Carla Roberts says:

    Thank you for this recipe…question I have frozen eggplant, can I use that too

  180. Trudy Thedford says:

    5 stars
    Yummy‼️ Thank you for showing how to cook eggplant. This was an awesome recipe.

  181. Madeline R. Y. says:

    Made this with European eggplant. Was quite good. I tend to like spicier dishes, so next time I’ll add more ginger and a hot green or red chili at the end. More sauce would have been good. I added diced regular tofu with the eggplant to fry. I don’t recommend this as the eggplant needs room to properly cook and the pan was crowded. The tofu also got crispy, not the right texture. This recipe may be able to accommodate silken tofu at the very end, not sure how to do that without it falling apart. I’ve had a braised eggplant and silken tofu dish in a Taiwanese restaurant, which was similar to this, delicious. In any case, thanks for the he recipe! Will make again

  182. Gigi says:

    dumb question- do you also slice the eggplant first or submerge it whole for th 2nd method?

    • Maggie Zhu says:

      You will need to slice the eggplant first before submerging it in the water.

  183. Tracey says:

    5 stars
    I always love Chinese eggplant. I made it for some friends who dislike eggplant and usually avoid, however they loved this dish.

  184. Larry La says:

    5 stars
    I loved this recipe! Thank you for sharing!

  185. Betty says:

    OH! EM!! GEE!!!!
    so freaking good and WAAAAAAYYY better than any restaurant around here. My first of your recipes, and I’ve made this more than a few times

  186. Gabrielle says:

    5 stars
    I simply loved it, the eggplant tastes really good and the texture is just perfect

  187. Frances Leone says:

    5 stars
    Love this recipe. Thank you so much for sharing this!

  188. Theresa says:

    5 stars
    In love with this recipe! I’ve tried it twice now, with both Chinese eggplant and normal eggplant, and it worked great each time. Only complaint is that it was so good that I wanted seconds, and now there’s not enough left for a second serving 🙂

  189. Keith Joe says:

    5 stars
    This is the best recipe I have found for this Cantonese classic

  190. Eyvonne says:

    4 stars
    Love this recipe! I would love to add a little spice to it to add that kick!

  191. Sakura says:

    5 stars
    My go-to recipe for eggplants. My mother fell in love with eggplant thanks to your recipe and it allowed me to include a new vegetable in our diet. Thank you

  192. EJ says:

    5 stars
    Fabulous recipe! Turned out just amazing!!!

  193. Ilana Sosna says:

    5 stars
    Thank you so very much for this wonderful recipe.

  194. Veronica says:

    I have made several recipes from your site now and impressed how they have enabled me to figure out the beguiling tastes of meals I’ve had at regional restaurants in Richmond BC.
    The sweet dark soy and chili oil recipes are better than anything I’ve ever purchased. Even with Mexican chilies and missing ingredients.

    I’ll admit to adding veggies and flavorings, but your recipes are robust and tolerate tinkering.
    Are you going to write a cookbook?

  195. AM says:

    5 stars
    Maggie – I cooked this last night and the flavours were just incredible! I added a bit of MSG and Shaoxing wine which gave the dish an added punch.

    With regards to the aubergine itself, I used the second method (dunking them in a bowl of salty water for 15 min). I struggled to get the aubergine to be crispy for some reason – any tips would be welcome!

    • Maggie Zhu says:

      Glad to hear you like the dish! Yeah a bit of MSG and Shaoxing wine will go a long way.
      For the pan frying, you will need a bit more oil if you want a very crispy texture (not like deep frying but at least cover the bottom of the pan).

  196. Mary says:

    5 stars
    This egg plant was so delicious! I am going to make it over and over!
    Thank you!

  197. Pessie says:

    5 stars
    I am not even an eggplant lover but I had an extra one in the house. Absolutley delicious.

  198. Alexander says:

    5 stars
    Just tried the recipe last night was absolutely delicious just like take out. Would highly recommend it to anyone looking for an amazing Chinese eggplant recipe

  199. Michele D says:

    5 stars
    I really love this recipe! I’ve made it a second time and it’s really as good if not better than what I get in restaurants. I love eggplant and I know I’ll be making this dish over and over again.

  200. JuneAloha says:

    3 stars
    Prep part was awesome! I could make very soft juicy eggplant. However, once I pour the sauce, before mix, the sauce itself get solid and couldn’t mix with eggplant…sigh…

  201. Sai C says:

    5 stars
    This came out beautifully! Was easy to make as well 🙂

  202. Laflemm says:

    I made it last night, and it was totally wonderful. I’m a real eggplant fan but usually make it Italian style, so this was great change of pace. I actually like this recipe better than any of the Italian ones I have made in the past.

  203. Kate says:

    5 stars
    Came out excellent. Only thing was, it took longer than eight minutes to get all of the eggplant browned/charred before transferring to a plate. Everyone loved it. Very well written and explained recipe. Will make again.

  204. Kate says:

    Another fantastic recipe. Thanks, Maggie! This time I tried the water soaking method. I think next time I will try the method where you lay out the eggplant for a while. Sauce is epic!

  205. Anna says:

    4 stars
    Hi Maggie, I just discovered your blog and I’m learning to cook before my sophomore year, this is the first recipe of yours I’ve tried but I’m going to attempt lots more. I’m not a fan of eggplant (well, my mom’s South Indian way of cooking it) but I really loved it at a restaurant in San Francisco and I want to recreate it. This came pretty close, I still need to work on the texture as it fell apart a little and tweak the sauce, but I ate the whole thing lol, it’s really good. Next I’m going to try some Sichuan recipes once I get the appropriate spices! Thank you for your inspiring and beautiful blog 💗

  206. Jane Ewry says:

    5 stars
    I cooked this for myself to eat because I’m vegan, but my two friends loved it so much that they asked me to make more for them to eat next time! I highly recommend this recipe. You will not regret it. One thing that I feel makes or breaks this recipe is the preparation of the eggplant, so don’t skip out on that part!!

  207. Archana says:

    Hi there! I had a quick question for you. Can I make this ahead of time and reheat it later. Wanted to try this for a small gathering.

    • Maggie Zhu says:

      You definitely can. The eggplant will not stay crispy but should still taste good.

  208. LC says:

    4 stars
    Thank you for the recipe! The sauce was very good albeit a little sweet for our tastes. I am thinking of using it with green beans, tofu, or pork as well.

  209. Errol says:

    5 stars
    First time tried for dinner last night.Different but nice.Only mistake I made I forgot the rice which would really made it.Next time

  210. Peggy says:

    5 stars
    This was so easy and delicious!! I will definitely make this again. Thank you.

  211. Corbin Simmons says:

    5 stars
    Loved this recipe!

  212. Leone Thiele says:

    5 stars
    This has become my favourite, though I love all your recipes!
    Thanks for sharing them

  213. Novellian says:

    Love your recipes but it seems like they are loaded with sugar and starch to top it all off, it’s fried! No matter how I look at it, it’s unhealthy for people trying to avoid sugar and fried foods in their diets. Do you have a health friendly version of this dish? Please post one of you can.

  214. RB says:

    5 stars
    Thanks for this recipe! I love eggplant and was looking for a way to make it with less oil since it absorbs so much when cooking…or it becomes a dry mess without the oil. This recipe turned out great and has become my “go to” Asian eggplant recipe. I’ve made it with and without added chicken and tofu and it is very tasty and produces great, predictable results.

  215. Channyfanny says:

    5 stars
    Just made this and it is absolutely delicious. Thanks for the tips too.

  216. Begryphon says:

    The printed recipe leaves out the 1 Tablespoon of soy sauce. The cooking time was too short to cook the eggplant I was using.

  217. Christine Rothschild says:

    5 stars
    My husband asks for this recipe frequently. Since my garden was very bountiful this year we had plenty of opportunities to enjoy this dish. This is a keeper

  218. Nadine says:

    4 stars
    I really liked this recipe. I feel it could use more sauce honestly but that will be my personal preference. I found your instructions simple and straightforward thanks! Will definitely make this again. With minor changes to suit me.

  219. Tim Gil says:

    4 stars
    LET’S BE HONEST GUYS!!!! This is a good recipe it has solid flavor and what I like the most about it is the amount of sauce just coats the dish, it doesn’t leave it swimming like so many Chinese dishes can and do turn out but when it comes to the “CRISPY” part of this dish is more of a desired descriptive than a true outcome of the dish. To all the people who thought this was going to be like Crystal Shrimp or General Tsao’s right out of the kitchen at a GOOD Chinese restaurant you will be disappointed. Coming from a chef with 30+ years and who has opened over a dozen high end Asian restaurants with complex menus the only way you will get this “super crispy” texture is prepared in a pro wok that has 100k-150k BTU’S and can generate a temp of 400 and the eggplant comes out of the fryer crispy and right into the wok with the wok to be coated with the boiling sauce, then right out to your table and you start eating within 60 seconds!!! This is just the nature of what eggplant is, it’s not a protein and can’t hold a crisp coating the same, it has a soft center and for this recipe is cut in pretty big chunks which mean they take time in the fryer to cook through and then into a wok to be cooked down with a sauce until it just coats it then on a plate where honestly only the pieces on top will be crispy because everything else below is being steamed by what’s above. I am only giving this long winded explanation because I can see how some people may do all the work and prep and it just doesn’t come out as they expected, which by the comments I can see has happened more than a few times but BOTTOM LINE, it is a very flavorful recipe and scoop some of this over some steamed rice you will have close to as good a dish that you will get in a good solid quality Chinese restaurant so don’t take it so seriously.

  220. Mark Leiker says:

    5 stars
    Searching for this one for years! I had great Chinese eggplant years ago and have tried to replicate it or find a recipe. This is the one!

  221. Mallory says:

    4 stars
    Tastes good, but it really is a lengthy process to prep the eggplant. I did eggplant, then fried up zucchini, then the garlic with strips of beef…I then did the sauce (tripled and added a bit more water so it’s less salty), and then mixed it all together. It tastes very close to what you would get at a proper Chinese restaurant, but again, it takes a while to salt/let it sit/pat dry the veg slices after the water from the veg comes out after contact with the salt.

  222. Isabel Ramirez says:

    5 stars
    I just made this tonight. It was so good!!! This has always been my favorite way to eat eggplant. I know my dad loves it too because he will bring me the Chinese eggplant when he comes and visits.

  223. Kass says:

    Hi! Would this be freezer friendly?

    • Maggie Zhu says:

      I think it’s possible to freeze it but the eggplant will turn quite mushy.

  224. Rita Baird says:

    5 stars
    This dish tastes exactly like my dad’s cooking. My husband and I love it, my brother and sister loves it… we just can’t get enough. The sauce alone is to die for!

  225. SK says:

    5 stars
    Best eggplant dish I have cooked! I doubled the sauce just because it was so delicious and it was perfect with a big bowl of rice

    • Maggie Zhu says:

      So happy to hear it! 🙂

  226. Jen P says:

    Your friend Steve’s technique worked out perfectly! The texture was spot on and so was the sauce. Thank you!

  227. Neelam says:

    5 stars
    So easy and delicious

  228. Michelle Kropp says:

    5 stars
    Best eggplant I have ever eaten!!! I followed the recipe using Option 2 and it was amazing. Thank you so much for sharing.

  229. Amanda says:

    This was delicious! I added a block of tofu that I cut into small triangles and pan fried and tripled the sauce. I’m already looking forward to the leftovers.

  230. Linda says:

    5 stars
    In the directions, if soaking the eggplant, it says water and 1/4 tsp salt. Then where it is written in the printable recipe it says 1 tsp salt. Which is best??

    • Maggie Zhu says:

      1 teaspoon salt is better!

  231. LaWane Boltz says:

    5 stars
    Recipe was great! Made a little more sauce and added a couple of teaspoons of fermented bean and chili oil. I will definitely make it again

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