Sichuan Eggplant Stir Fry (Yú Xiāng Eggplant, 鱼香茄子)

4.94 from 29 votes
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Crispy eggplant covered in a sticky sweet, sour, savory and slightly spicy sauce. A signature Sichuan dish that turns eggplant haters into eggplant lovers. {vegetarian adaptable}

Sichuan eggplant stir fry is incredibly addictive! This is crispy eggplant covered in a sweet, sour, savory and slightly spicy sauce. {vegetarian adaptable}

Sichuan eggplant stir fry, or yú xiāng eggplant (鱼香茄子), is one of those under-appreciated real-deal Sichuan dishes that deserves more attention. Throughout the years, whenever I took a foreign friend or colleague to a Sichuan restaurant in Beijing, this stir fry was always one of the most popular dishes on the table.

What is yú xiāng?

Nobody would order this dish on a menu if they saw the direct translation… yú xiāng literally translates as “fish-fragrant” in Chinese, which might not sound as appetizing as the dish tastes.

In fact, fish-fragrant eggplant has nothing to do with fish.

According to folklore, a housewife was cooking eggplant for dinner and did not want to waste the leftover sauce used in a fish dish. The sauce was designed to cover up the fishiness and muddiness of river fish, so it’s extra fragrant. The dish turned out so well and her husband loved it more than the original fish dish. Thus, the dish was named yú xiāng or “fish-fragrant” as a homage to the delicious sauce.

Yú xiāng flavor is one of the seven key flavors in Sichuan cuisine. It contains soy sauce, Chinkiang vinegar, sugar, fermented spicy bean paste (dòubànjiàng), chili peppers, and a great amount of fresh garlic, ginger and onion. It results in a well-balanced, sweet and sour spicy sauce that is bursting with umami. The taste might be considered close to General Tso’s sauce, only 10 times more flavorful.

Sichuan Eggplant Stir Fry Cooking Process

Sichuan eggplant stir fry is incredibly addictive! This is crispy eggplant covered in a sweet, sour, savory and slightly spicy sauce. {vegetarian adaptable}

The secret of cooking perfect eggplant on the stovetop

Eggplant is one of the most tricky vegetables to cook with, however the result is super rewarding if you do it right. In the past, I’ve discovered the method of creating crispy eggplant on the stovetop without deep-frying. The key is marinating the eggplant with salted water and then dusting it with cornstarch before grilling it on a flat-bottom pan. You can read my Chinese Eggplant with Garlic Sauce recipe to view the details.

When cooking the yú xiāng eggplant the result is even better. The old method stays the same — the only thing I did slightly differently is use a bit more oil, about 1/2 cup. It is double than in my previous recipe, but still way less than for deep-frying.

Sichuan Eggplant Stir Fry Cooking Process

Not only do the eggplant pieces turn out extra crunchy crispy with a tender interior, they stay crispy for a long time even after coating with the sauce. Better still, this time I used regular eggplant instead of Asian eggplant, and it worked!

It proved again that you can cook perfect crispy eggplant if you follow the right method. Next time you don’t need to make the extra trip to the Asian market to make this hearty dish.

Worried that your dish will be loaded with calories due to the added oil? It won’t; the eggplant only absorbs a small amount of oil during cooking.

Still don’t want to use so much oil? No problem. You can reduce the oil to 2 to 4 tablespoons and still get sticky eggplant with quite a crisp surface.

Sichuan eggplant stir fry is incredibly addictive! This is crispy eggplant covered in a sweet, sour, savory and slightly spicy sauce. {vegetarian adaptable}

Sichuan eggplant cooking video

I’ve created this short video for you, so you can easily get an idea of the workflow.

The video is slightly different from the recipe below because I updated the recipe with a few small tweaks… but the cooking process is the same.

More vegetable main dishes

Sichuan eggplant stir fry is incredibly addictive! This is crispy eggplant covered in a sweet, sour, savory and slightly spicy sauce. {vegetarian adaptable}

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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Top 14 Sichuan Recipes - Some of the most popular real-deal Sichuan recipes made accessible for home cooks to replicate in their own kitchen.

Sichuan Eggplant Stir Fry (鱼香茄子)

4.94 from 29 votes
Crispy eggplant covered in a sticky sweet, sour, savory and slightly spicy sauce. A signature Sichuan dish that turns eggplant haters into eggplant lovers. {vegetarian adaptable}
Author: Maggie Zhu
Course: Main
Cuisine: Chinese
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 2 to 3 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 (1 lbs / 450 g in total) eggplant , cut to 8-cm (3-inch) sticks (*Footnote 1)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch , to coat the eggplant

Sauce

Cook

  • 1/2 cup peanut oil (or vegetable oil)
  • 2 teaspoons Sichuan peppercorns
  • 4 green onions , chopped
  • 3 tablespoons minced garlic about 8 cloves garlic
  • 1 tablespoon ginger , minced
  • 1/2 lbs (230 g) ground pork (*Footnote 2) (Optional)
  • 8 to 10 Chinese dried chili peppers (or Korean dried chili peppers)

Instructions

  • Chop eggplant into long sticks of about 2-inch (5-cm) long and 1/4-inch (6-mm) thick.
  • 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.
  • Add all the sauce ingredients into a bowl. Stir to mix well.
  • Sprinkle eggplant with cornstarch and mix by hand, until eggplant is evenly coated with with a thin layer of cornstarch.
  • Add oil to a large nonstick skillet and heat over medium high heat until hot. Spread eggplant across the bottom of the skillet without overlapping (you might need to cook in 2 or 3 batches). Fry the eggplant one side at a time until all the surfaces are charred and the eggplant turns soft, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer to a plate. Cook the remaining batch(es) with the same method. If the skillet gets too hot and starts to smoke, turn to medium heat.
  • Once the eggplant is all cooked, remove the pan from the stove. Drain extra oil and only leave 1 tablespoon in the pan by pouring the oil into a heatproof bowl, or wipe the pan with a few layers of paper towels attached to the front end of a pair of tongs.
  • Add the Sichuan peppercorns into the pan. Cook over medium heat until the peppercorns turn dark brown. Remove them with a spatula and transfer to a small bowl (*Footnote 3). Add the pork. Cook and chop with your spatula, until separated into small bits and cooked through. Add green onion, garlic, ginger, and dried chili peppers. Stir a few times to release the fragrance.
  • Stir the sauce again to completely dissolve the cornstarch, then pour into the pan. Stir until the sauce thickens. Return the eggplant to the pan and quickly stir to mix everything well.
  • Turn to the lowest heat and taste the sauce (be careful, it will be very hot!) Adjust flavor by sprinkling a bit more salt or sugar, if needed. Turn to medium heat and mix well again. Transfer everything to a plate immediately.
  • Serve hot over steamed rice as a main.

Notes

  1. You can either use long Asian eggplant or regular eggplant. If you follow the steps in this recipe, both eggplants will turn out perfectly crispy.
  2. You can skip the pork to make a vegan dish and the sauce will still be very tasty.
  3. The cooked Sichuan peppercorns become fragrant with a more rounded taste, so they make a great seasoning. Save the fried Sichuan peppercorns and grind them into powder. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for 1 month and use it in recipes that call for ground Sichuan peppercorns.

Nutrition

Serving: 1bowl, Calories: 353kcal, Carbohydrates: 25.1g, Protein: 2.7g, Fat: 27.6g, Cholesterol: 0.9mg, Sodium: 846.7mg, Sugar: 10.4g
Did You Make This Recipe?Don't forget the last step! Tag me @OmnivoresCookbook and #OmnivoresCookbook on Instagram!

 

This recipe was originally published on March 4th 2014, updated on April 11 2017.

Sichuan Eggplant Stir Fry Cooking Process

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Reader Questions and Reviews

  1. AvocadoPesot says:

    Beautiful photo! I learned how to make this dish during a cooking class in Dali China and loved it!

    • Maggie says:

      Thank you for stopping by! I hope this recipe will turn out as good as the one you learnt in Dali China! 🙂

  2. Nami | Just One Cookbook says:

    5 stars
    I loved watching your video! Eggplant is my favorite veggies and this sounds really delicious. I always wish that they don’t absorb much oil while cooking. That’s one negative thing about this veggie, but I love that it absorb sauce… haha. Looks delicious!!!

    • Maggie says:

      I totally agree with you about eggplant absorbs too much oil! They don’t taste so great if cooking with less oil and I already tried my best to reduce the oil to minimum amount.
      I’m so glad you like my video. It really took time to shoot and do post edit, but it was a lot of fun! 🙂

    • Steve Salloom says:

      5 stars
      Nami & Maggie,

      My mother taught me this method to avoid eggplants from absorbing oils:

      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 dry each surface.
      5. Do not rinse eggplants.

      This method will extract the moisture from the eggplants and will allow very little amount of oil to be absorbed. Most oil will be on the outside.

      • Maggie says:

        Hi Steve, thanks for sharing your method and I will try out next time! I think it will work great on fried eggplant too. Hope you have a great week 🙂

      • Michael says:

        Did it work?

  3. nicole (thespicetrain.com) says:

    Wow, your entire blog looks fantastic and makes me so hungry! I”m gonna have to start making a whole bunch of your recipes!

    • Maggie says:

      Hi Nicole, I’m so glad you like my blog! Cannot wait to hear your feedbacks for my recipes! 🙂

      • nicole (thespicetrain.com) says:

        This recipe is a winner! I made it today and it was a universal success. What a great idea to soak the eggplant strips in water!

        I substituted sake for Shaoxing wine and used sambal instead of Doubanjiang. Are these two ingredients reasonably close? Even if not, the dish tasted great! 🙂

      • Maggie says:

        Hi Nicole, I’m so glad to hear that you make this dish and found it delicious! Sake is very similar with Shaoxing wine but I never thought I can use sambal in this one! It sounds great too and I’ll remember to try it out myself. 🙂

  4. Trent @ Food Assault says:

    That looks fantastic……such vibrant colours. I, like many, didn’t like eggplant as a kid however love it now.

    One of my favourites is vegetarian lasagne made with eggplant. I’ll need to give this a try Maggie, thanks for sharing.

    • Maggie says:

      Hi Trent, thanks for stopping by and commenting!
      Vegetarian lasagne sounds great. I just got a pasta machine from a friend, and I’d like to try it out with the freshly made pasta. 🙂

  5. Arnab Sen (@arnab) says:

    The fish fragrant sauce contains no fish at all!?

    • Maggie says:

      Nope, no fish in this one.

      “Fish fragrant” is a special combination of condiments that commonly used in Szechuan cuisine. It is said the sauce was originally used for cooking fish, but when people tried the sauce with other dishes, they found they are all very tasty, for example fish fragrant pork.

      I think it’s similar to sweet sour sauce, goes well with everything. But this one has “fish” in the name, so sounds confusing.

  6. Harvey says:

    5 stars
    tried this recipe today and it was pretty darn close to restaurant quality (but without the oil!)

    great technique. thanks for sharing!

    • Maggie says:

      Hi Harvey, thanks very much for leaving a comment and I’m so glad to hear you tried my recipe! Hope you enjoyed the dish and have a great day ahead! 🙂

  7. Samantha says:

    This looks really good, I will try this next week. I’ve been steaming my eggplants before stir frying them. That really cuts down on the oil. I add salt and fish sauce while steaming the eggplants too.

    • Maggie says:

      Hi Samantha, thanks for sharing the tips! I like fish sauce and it sounds lovely with the eggplant. I steam eggplant too, but only used it in cold dishes. I like the crispiness of eggplant in stir fried dishes, but it does use more oil. Ultimate dilemma!

  8. Michael says:

    I don’t have the Chinkiang vinegar or the rice wine, can I just use malt vinegar and leave out the wine?

    • Maggie says:

      Hi Michael, I believe you can use malt vinegar as an alternative. And yes, you can leave out the wine and replace it with water. The wine adds a nice subtle flavor, but it won’t be a problem without it. Happy cooking and hope the dish turns out great 🙂

    • Sue says:

      5 stars
      If you don’t have Chinkiang vinegar, you can use Balsamic vinegar.

  9. Kit says:

    5 stars
    So glad I found your website. Looks like my search is over! This is going to be my one-stop go to for Chinese recipes! I have been trying to find authentic chinese eggplant recipes and have tried so many not-so-good ones. I’m from Shanghai and I appreciate all food and I cook Italian and American on most days. But the fusion recipes on traditional dishes just don’t cut it for me. I tried this one tonight and love it! Thank you for sharing! Mapo Tofu is next.

    • Maggie says:

      Hi Kit, I’m so glad to hear you tried my recipe and enjoyed the dish! Sorry to reply this so late. I’ve been traveling back to China this month and stayed offline most of the time. We cook a lot of Italian and American too (also Mexican!), but just like you said, I crave for the authentic Chinese dishes every now and then. I love Shanghai food, although some of them are very challenging to make. Soup dumpling is on my cooking list of 2016 🙂
      Please let me know if you want to learn a new recipe but couldn’t find on my blog! I’d love to develop the recipe for you!
      Happy cooking and Happy New Year!

      • Yelena says:

        I’d love to see a recipe for soup dumplings!!

  10. jack wolfskin canada says:

    Thanks so much for this! I have not been this moved by a blog post for quite some time! You have got it, whatever that means in blogging. Anyway, You are definitely someone that has something to say that people need to hear. Keep up the wonderful work. Keep on inspiring the people!
    jack wolfskin canada http://www.jackwolfskinoutlet.store

  11. Alona Orina says:

    i will give it a try tonight for I am planning to prepare healthy and yummy eggplant dish for my hubby. as eggplant is pone of our fave veggie, i am so bored with the same method i cook that is why I am searching different way of cooking eggplant and i came across to this. Thanks to this ms maggie, more power.

    • Maggie says:

      Hi Alona, I’m glad to hear you decided to give this dish a try! I hope your cooking goes well and the dish turns out great 🙂
      If you need another eggplant dish, try out this one too: https://omnivorescookbook.com/chinese-eggplant-with-garlic-sauce It’s one of the most popular recipes on my blog.
      Let me know how the cooking goes!

  12. J-Mom says:

    5 stars
    I finally had a chance to stop-by the nearest Asian grocery store (that’s two hours away) and got Chinese eggplant to make this. The eggplant came out really nicely. My husband mentioned the crispiness without me pointing it out (although, he thought it was mushroom). Thank you for the recipe.

    • J-Mom says:

      I forgot! I couldn’t get fresh Thai chili. I used dried ones and stir-fried it in oil hoping that the spiciness would transfer. Is there a good way to substitute with dry chili or red pepper flakes?

      • Maggie says:

        I’m glad to hear you and your husband enjoy the dish!
        To answer your question, yes, dried chili peppers and red pepper flakes definitely work. In fact it’s the more proper way to do it, in an authentic Sichuan way.
        I happened to have Thai chili on hand that time so I ended up using it. To make the sauce spicy, you can either snip the dried chili peppers to 2 to 3 pieces (to reveal the seeds) or add about 1 teaspoon chili flakes (depends on the spiciness of your chili flakes).
        Hope you have a delicious week ahead J-Mom 🙂

  13. Nick says:

    This dish looks delicious! I’ll have to make it when eggplants come into season this summer.

    But I’m really curious about the key flavors of Sichuan cuisine. What are the other six? I assume one is mala?

  14. Amy says:

    5 stars
    I LUUUUUV eggplant! This has to taste like a rock band in your mouth. Definitely will be trying this. Thank you.

    • Maggie says:

      Yes definitely! Happy cooking Amy and let me know how the dish turns out 🙂 This is one of my favorites and I hope you enjoy it too!

  15. Jean Rabefaniraka says:

    Salut Maggie,
    Tes recettes sont formidables….non seulement tu nous régales mais en plus tu nous instruits à travers la genèse de la recette.Le choix est vaste et satisfait même les plus difficiles ! Tu côtoies l’excellence et tu enrichi notre culture culinaire…merci pour ton partage et continue de nous émerveiller ! ???

  16. Jean says:

    5 stars
    Salut Maggie,
    Merci pour tes recettes aussi délicieuses les unes que les autres ! Non seulement tu régales nos papilles mais en plus tu enrichis notre culture culinaire à travers la genèse de chaque recette ! Bravo et continue de nous émerveiller ! ??

  17. Rob says:

    Hi, I’ve been enjoying this recipe as one of my ‘go-to’ quick dinners for a while, but just recently noticed you have changed it (inclusion of stock, use of szechuan peppercorns etc). We found the new version was not as nice as the original . Can you you send me the original version?

    Many thanks,

    Rob

    • Maggie says:

      Hi Rob, sorry for the slow reply! Here is the original version if you still need it:

      1 large long eggplant (300 grams / 10 ounces), cut into strips
      1 1/4 teaspoon salt
      3 teaspoons cornstarch
      2 teaspoons light soy sauce
      1 tablespoon Chinkiang Vinegar (black rice vinegar)
      1 teaspoon Shaoxing wine
      1 teaspoon minced ginger
      100 grams (3.5 ounces) ground pork
      1 teaspoon Doubanjiang (chili bean paste)
      2 fresh Thai chili peppers, chopped (or 1 pepper for less spicy dish)

      1. Add eggplant and 1 teaspoon salt into a large pot of water and mix well. Place a lid on top of the eggplant to keep it submerged in the water. After 10 to 15 minutes, drain the eggplant and dry it thoroughly with a paper towel. Sprinkle 2 teaspoons cornstarch over the eggplant, 1 teaspoon at a time, and rub it by hand to coat all eggplant strips well.

      2. Combine light soy sauce, vinegar, Shaoxing wine, 1/4 teaspoon salt, sugar and 1 teaspoon cornstarch in a small bowl, mix well, and set aside.

      3. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a big nonstick skillet over medium high heat. When oil is hot, after about 2 minutes, carefully add eggplant and stir fry until the eggplant turns soft and golden brown on the outside (* see footnote 1), 5 to 6 minutes. Transfer eggplant to a plate and set aside.

      4. In the same skillet, add 1 teaspoon oil, garlic and ginger, and give it a stir. Add ground pork and stir fry until surface of pork turns white, about 1 minute. Add Doubanjiang and continue stirring constantly until pork mixes with the paste and turns dark red, about 1 minute. Add Thai pepper and eggplant and give it a stir. Evenly pour the mixed fish fragrant sauce (from step 2) over the eggplant and stir immediately to mix everything well, for 1 – 2 minutes. (optional) Turn to lowest heat and taste the eggplant (be careful, the eggplant will be very hot!). Adjust flavor by sprinkling a bit more salt or sugar, then turn to medium heat and use a spatula to mix everything well again (*see footnote 2). Stop heat and transfer eggplant with the pork and sauce to a plate.

      5. Serve warm with steamed white rice.

  18. Jacqueline says:

    5 stars
    I have been making this dish for years…ever since I first saw it on your website! It is one of my favorite dishes and has become a weekly regular. Thank you so much!

    • Maggie says:

      Hi Jacqueline, thanks for much for leaving a comment and I’m glad to hear you like the dish as much as I do! Top it on hot rice, so irresistible!

  19. Donna says:

    I made this eggplant dish tonight. First of all, I love, love, love eggplant, especially Thai, Chinese, or Italian. The recipe posted here was absolutely delicious! The one thing I changed up was adding more peppers. We love the heat. Thank you for this recipe.

  20. Emmie says:

    YUM! I could’ve used low sodium soy sauce, but it’s super delicious and I appreciate how you don’t skimp the the sauce. So many similar recipes don’t make nearly enough sauce. Also, thank you for instructing how to infuse the oil with the peppercorns….way more enjoyable than leaving them in. Will be using your site from now on!

    • Maggie says:

      I’m so glad to hear you tried and like the recipe, Emmie! It’s one of my favorite eggplant dishes 🙂 Looking forward to hearing more dishes you will cook in your own kitchen!

  21. Leah Angel says:

    My partner and I are not really fans of eggplant, but this recipe looked so good we gave it a try anyway. Oh my gosh, it was SO GOOD!
    Even just the fried eggplant bare was yummy, but the sauce made them even better! I love the level of heat with doubanjang and the mala of the peppercorn infused oil. Delicious!

    • Maggie says:

      Hi Leah, I’m so glad to hear you like the dish! I don’t cook with eggplant so often because it’s so time consuming. But for this dish, it’s totally worth the effort 🙂
      Thanks so much for taking time to leave a comment and hope you have a great weekend!

  22. KK says:

    Thanks for the wonderful recipe! I’ve just tried this tonight. The sauce is absolutely delectable! Sticky sauce is perfect for the rice. However, it’s a tad bitter. What do you think what might have gone wrong? Too much ginger? Or have I let the peppercorn in the pan for too long?

    • Maggie says:

      Hi KK, I’m glad to hear you tried my recipe! Regard your question about the light bitter taste, it might be caused by Sichuan peppercorns. Adding ginger won’t cause any bitter flavor. The pan can be quite hot after you cooked the eggplant, so the hot oil might over cooked the Sichuan peppercorns. Next time you could try waiting until they turn darker, but not black.
      I hope this is helpful and you’ll make a better batch of sauce the next time 🙂

  23. Susan says:

    This looks insanely delicious! I cannot wait to try this recipe out! Thanks for the share

  24. anne says:

    we LOVE eggplant and had this dish in a good, family run hole in the wall sichuan restaurant while on the road this summer. i swore i’d make it if i could find a recipe with the abundance of asian eggplant from ou garden. made it tonight using home grown hot and sweet peppers and also added browned tofu chunks (doubled the sauce to accommodate and it was the perfect amount). thank you for a great recipe i am totally bookmarking this one to make again!

  25. Deborah Jayne says:

    5 stars
    I tried this last night and it was delicious! I’ll be making it again!

  26. JoAnn Cola says:

    5 stars
    I just made this, and it is delicious! I am so happy that I found this recipe because it is one of my favorite dishes. Thank you so much

  27. jonmarie compton says:

    Hi!
    Can’t wait to try this ( vegan )I am a former Austinite now living in Hangzhou.Had this in Chengdu at a neighborhood shop on a cold rainy day and it warmed me up!!! Inside out..I have been craving it ever since.Thanks for the recipe will let you know how it turns out!

    • Maggie says:

      Hi Jonmarie, I’m glad to hear you wanted to try out this dish at home. Pretty sure the vegan version will be amazing too. Happy cooking and can’t wait to hear how your dish turns out! 🙂

  28. chris says:

    lol i made this but in my rush i thought it said 2 tbsp of sichuan peppercorns for cooking instead 2 tsp. completely ruined the dish, after tasting i was thinking this recipe was horrible. im going to try to remake

  29. Erin G says:

    Hello. We made this last night and it was SO good! We have never found a recipe for eggplant that we really enjoyed. Now we have. And you’re right–the eggplant did stay crispy, even when we added the sauce. Such a delicious combination of flavors. Thanks for sharing this great recipe!

  30. JN says:

    5 stars
    Hi Maggie. We have used 2 of your recipes this week. Sichuan Dry Fried Beans with pork is in regular rotation at our house, so that was one. The other was this Sichuan Eggplant Stir Fry. I was inspired to try it because we had an amazing Szechuan Eggplant with Fish dish at a restaurant (actually a counter at a food court) near Atlanta; trust me, it’s worth it! I didn’t find a specific recipe for that, but this dish comes close (without the fish). We used the long thin eggplants which did not stay crispy in the sauce but the texture and flavour were still lovely. We had it over riced cauliflower. Thank you for all your hard work!

  31. Roberta says:

    There is nothing in the instructions about cooking the optional pork.

    • Maggie says:

      Oops! Sorry about that. I just added the instruction to step 7.

      • Roberta says:

        Thank you. I feel better about trying the recipe.

  32. Chris says:

    5 stars
    This is amazing. It literally melts in your mouth. It’s in my rotation. My family loves it. Thank you for this gem!

  33. Cynthia Machuca says:

    Hi I made way too much egg plant. Can I freeze this, after cooking it?
    Thanks

  34. Theresa Y says:

    5 stars
    This is how I discovered the website, searching for Sichuan eggplant! It was so delicious and the instructions were so clear and easy to follow. This dish melts in your mouth. Thanks Maggie!

  35. Fuzie says:

    Wow, what a great recipe. We live in a small town so the spicy bean paste isn’t in any of our grocery stores, but we found a bean sauce that has been paste as a main ingredient, so we used that and let the moisture cook off. We’re vegetarians so we’re always on the lookout for new recipes to have in our repertoire. Thanks. Excellent.

  36. Monika says:

    5 stars
    That was the tastiest Chinese dish I’ve ever made! Thank you so much! I can’t wait to try your other recipes now.

  37. Agusiah says:

    This dish was phenomenally delicious. The sauce was to die for. Ideal balance of sweet, sour and hot. Thank you Maggie!!

  38. Mike says:

    5 stars
    We cooked this last night. It was absolutely delicious. We followed the recipe closely, only sustituting sweet snack peppers for the chilis, and sherry for the wine. It took about 25 minutes to fry off the eggplants in 3 batches. We found that soaking and drying the eggplants in a salad spinner worked well. The szechuan peppercorns added a lot to the flavor of the dish. We’ll try it vegetarian next time…

  39. heather says:

    5 stars
    I love your photos and your recipes. I had great success w/ the sichuan eggplant- tasted authentic and my whole family loved it. We also made the pineapple fried rice and honey garlic chicken wings and they all turned out delicious! You do a nice job of explaining the recipes and making authentic food accessible to everyone.

  40. Eustacia Douglas says:

    Hi I’m Stacia from Australia and very excited to try your Sichuan eggplant recipe I”ve always loved eggplant and wondered how to cook it so I’ll try it soon

  41. wo says:

    5 stars
    i just made this dish. simplified it a bit to make it one process pot. do not skimp on the sichuan pepper. i added double and it tastes amazing flubble wubble

  42. Sabrina says:

    5 stars
    This was very delicious – eggplant flavors were just what I wanted. However, I think I used too much corn starch and it came out too gloppy and made the dish heavy. To be more healthy, I might use less sugar next time at well – hope it doesn’t change the flavors too much. I also will try using less oil – or using it in divided portions – I put in all the oil in the beginning and the early eggplants were cooked similar to a deep-fry technique!

  43. Laurel says:

    4 stars
    With rice, a complete dinner by itself. As with much Asian inspired cooking the prep takes the most time and is crucial to have everything ready to go. The video was especially helpful for me to see the sizes and shapes to cut everything. The sauce turned out silky and flavorful. The final dish was rich and filling.

  44. Janet C says:

    4 stars
    Maggie,
    This is the 1st time I cooked this dish following your recipe as much as possible. I left out the chillies because of my son but added chillie into mine. I wasn’t too sure if he will eat the eggplant but he ate up every bit of it. So thank you very much for your recipe.

    Janet C

  45. ben Tadano says:

    very good instructions. taste is good but not as good asexpected. needed morebrichness flavoring.

  46. Bill Zigrang says:

    Maggie,
    Please note that, in the revised version, you did not mention when to return the toasted Sichuan peppercorns to the dish.

    • William Zigrang says:

      ??Or are they just meant to flavor the oil??
      BZ

    • Maggie says:

      The Sichuan peppercorns are added in the recipe to infuse the oil. And you can see in footnote 3 on how to use them later. You can grind them up and use in other dishes.

  47. Heather B says:

    5 stars
    I’ve been making this recipe for the past 8 months and my whole family loves it. We make it without the pork as we don’t eat it. Yesterday, for the first time, I was able to harvest and use Asian eggplant from my own garden that I grew specifically with this dish in mind. Absolutely incredible!

    • Maggie says:

      Hi Heather, I’m glad to hear you like the dish and it’s amazing you grew some Asian eggplant for it 🙂
      Thanks for leaving a good review!

  48. Jennifer Priest says:

    5 stars
    Even my eggplant -hating husband loves this!

  49. Patrice says:

    This recipe was better than restaurants! It turned out spectacularly. Thanks for the tips on how to keep the eggplant crispy.

  50. MikeW says:

    Made this for the 1st time, won’t be the last though

  51. Ile says:

    Can i fry the eggplant earlier (morning) and then just finish with sauce before dinner? Or it will get soggy?

    • Maggie says:

      The eggplant will get soggy but pan fry them before adding the sauce will help crisp up the eggplant again. Also, you can store the eggplant by spreading them out on a big plate and cover loosely with kitchen paper towels. It helps the batter stay dry, which result in a better texture than refrigerate them. Happy cooking and hope your dish turns out well 🙂

  52. Ultraeye says:

    5 stars
    Every guest tells me its better than they have ever had in a restaurant

  53. Melané Fahner Botha says:

    Great recipe! I replaced the pork with chopped and boiled tempeh (my favorite meat replacement) and it was luuuuuvly! We are great fans of the Sichuan cuisine and this ticked all our boxes including the one titled “learn how to appreciate egg plant”! Thank you for your work!

  54. Bob says:

    5 stars
    This is better than at the best Szechuan place in the city. The real deal paste makes a huge difference, and I was fortunate to find Pixian locally. We’ve made this twice in a few days now, and it’s just mind-blowing.

  55. Ins Woodruff says:

    5 stars
    In 2003 we spent our first summer in China teaching conversational English. We fell in love with “fish-taste eggplant” and ate it almost every day. I’ve never found it at a Chinese restaurant in the states, but it I can find all the ingredients it’s about to be cooked in the southern part of Georgia.

  56. Sol says:

    5 stars
    I usually never leave reviews, but Ive been following your recipes quite a while and this…I made this yesterday. IT WAS AMAZING!!

  57. CO Lee says:

    5 stars
    This was delicious. And relatively easy.
    I will absolutely make this many times more!

  58. mc says:

    5 stars
    Super delicious recipe – it helped me use up that odd eggplant I had in the fridge. Thank you!

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