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Eggplant in Garlic Sauce

Eggplant in Garlic Sauce

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This Chinese Eggplant in Garlic Sauce Stir Fry (aka 魚香茄子) is not only delicious but also easy to make! It makes a great side dish and also an entrée if you’re a vegetarian.

Name Origin

Eggplant in Garlic Sauce Stir Fry in Chinese is 魚香茄子 (pronounced Yu Xiang Qie Zi). “Qie Zi” means Eggplants in Mandarin Chinese. “Yu Xiang” actually literally translates to “fish fragrant” but the interesting part is that this dish has zero seafood in it. It’s called “fish fragrant” because it uses the ingredients/sauces that is often used to cook fish!

Yu Xiang sauce usually consists of sugar, vinegar, doubanjiang, and soy sauce. There are various versions so sometimes you will see ingredients such as chili peppers, Sichuan peppercorn, depending on the recipe.

Type of Eggplants

There are several types of eggplant varieties – American, Italian, Thai, Japanese, Chinese, etc. For this recipe, we will be using Chinese Eggplants.

Chinese Eggplants

Of the asian variety of eggplants, Chinese eggplants are a lot thinner than American and Italian eggplants. They have a thinner skin and are less bitter as it has less seeds (the seeds are what makes an eggplant slightly bitter).  

Since Chinse eggplants have a sweeter flesh with tender skin, which makes them perfect for stir fry and sauté recipes.

They are actually very similar to Japanese eggplants, but Chinese eggplants are a lot lighter in color. It’s good to know though, that you can easily substitute these two types of eggplants interchangeably in recipes as they cook similarly.

For this recipe, if you can’t find Chinese eggplants, but find some Japanese eggplants, you can substitute with Japanese eggplants.

How many calories in eggplant with garlic sauce?

For other recipes or when you order eggplants in garlic sauce in restaurants, you will want to check with them specifically, but the estimate of this recipe, if you eat this in 4 servings, would be about 143 calories per servings.

How to make Eggplant in Garlic Sauce?

Ingredients

  • 2 Chinese eggplants, cut in to 2 inch length
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp Chili Bean Sauce / Doubanjiang
  • Cooking oil/fat of choice
  • 1/2 tbsp of minced fresh ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 scallions, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp vinegar or lemon juice
  • 1 tsp sugar

Instructions

Slice eggplants in to 2-inch length.

Place eggplants in a bowl and fill with water. Add 1 tbsp of salt and either vinegar or lemon juice, and mix well. This helps keep the eggplants from browning and helps keep it more ‘purple’.

Allow it to soak for about 15 minutes. Mince your garlic and ginger, and chop your scallion if you haven’t already done so.

Remove from water, and pat dry with paper towel.

In a wok or cooking pan, add cooking oil / fat, garlic, and ginger, and stir fry for about a minute.

Add eggplants and soy sauce, hot chili sauce, and sugar (optional), and stir fry for about 5 minutes or until eggplants are cooked thoroughly.

At the very end, add the chopped scallions, and turn off the heat. Stir chopped scallions to mix well. This helps keep it green.

And… that’s it! Dump all that on a plate and enjoy your delicious home made Chinese cuisine!

This an be a delicious veggie entree, but I always eat it as a side! Looking for an entree to go with?  Here’s my most popular chicken entree – Easy Coconut Milk Curry Chicken!

Eggplant in Garlic Sauce

Eggplant in Garlic Sauce

Flavorful Chinese Eggplant dish with a kick! This Spicy Chinese Eggplant in Garlic Sauce Stir Fry (aka 魚香茄子) is not only delicious but also easy to make! It makes a great side dish and also an entrée if you’re a vegetarian.

Ingredients

  • 2 Chinese eggplants, cut in to 2 inch length
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp Hot Chili Bean Sauce / Doubanjiang
  • Cooking oil/fat of choice
  • 1/2 tbsp of minced fresh ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 scallions, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp vinegar or lemon juice (optional)
  • 1 tsp sugar (optional)

Instructions

  1. Slice eggplants in to 2-inch length.
  2. Place eggplants in a bowl and fill with water. Add 1 tbsp of salt and either vinegar or lemon juice, and mix well. This helps keep the eggplants from browning and helps keep it more ‘purple’.
  3. Allow it to soak for about 15 minutes. Mince your garlic and ginger, and chop your scallion if you haven’t already done so.
  4. Remove from water, and pat dry with paper towel.
  5. In a wok or cooking pan, add cooking oil / fat, garlic, and ginger, and stir fry for about a minute.
  6. Add eggplants and soy sauce, hot chili sauce, and sugar (optional), and stir fry for about 5 minutes or until eggplants are cooked thoroughly.
  7. At the very end, add the chopped scallions, and turn off the heat. Stir chopped scallions to mix well. This helps keep it green.
  8. Remove from cooking pan or wok and serve!

Notes

Paleo Eggplant in Garlic Sauce

It’s pretty easy to customize this recipe to make it paleo friendly. You just have to substitute some of the ingredients.

  • Soy sauce is not paleo, so substitute this with coconut amino. The flavor is similar enough that coconut amino is often used as a paleo substitute for soy sauce.
  • For the Hot Chili Bean Sauce, you will want to use a paleo chili sauce/paste instead of Doubanjiang. This is because Beans are legumes and legumes are not paleo.
  • Instead of Sugar, you can skip it complete (though it will remove a certain sweet flavor) or you can substitute with Honey.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

4

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 166Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 1mgSodium: 485mgCarbohydrates: 30gFiber: 8gSugar: 12gProtein: 4g

The nutrition information for this recipe is an approximate total per serving. Please double check the nutrition information for your exact ingredients and brands for more precise nutrition information.

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Looking for more delicious Chinese recipes like this Chinese Eggplant in Garlic Sauce? Check out my Chinese Recipes here!

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Jocelyn Panem

Tuesday 29th of March 2022

Thank you for the recipe

TinaTsai

Tuesday 29th of March 2022

You're welcome!!

Anna

Tuesday 3rd of January 2017

You're tip as to how cook eggplant without it going soggy has cured my aversion to cooking it!!my vegeterian son agrees the basic prep instructions will inspire me to try do experimental dishes with different types of vegetables and flavors p.s . You're instructions both.visual and written were Very helpful

Tina T

Tuesday 3rd of January 2017

Nice! Super glad to help!! :D

BB

Saturday 8th of October 2016

Can you describe how you achieve the cut that you show in the picture - not sure how you are slicing. Thanks!

Tina T

Sunday 9th of October 2016

Sure! I just slice it at an angle! Like a little bit diagonally. Not straight down at a 90 degree angle :)

Mila Duboff

Thursday 14th of January 2016

Eggplant has always intrigued me, but I have never managed to make it not soggy and with a soft and edible skin. Your advice about treating it in cold, then hot water really solved the problem, and though I used ordinary eggplant, the recipe was delicious! Almost as good as I have eaten in the best Chinese restaurants! Thank you, you will be in my "Favorites" forever!

Tina T.

Thursday 14th of January 2016

Aw that is so sweet, thank you!!! I'm glad that tip helped! It's what I always do when preparing eggplant dishes!

Cassandra

Tuesday 8th of September 2015

That was delicious! And so quick and easy! Have made variations, but never parboiled the eggplant first. Not only less greasy, but sped up the cooking process. I added some green beans to the boiling water, and diced chile peppers and shiitake mushrooms to the pan. Only issue, I should have doubled the recipe as we both wanted more!

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