This doubanjiang eggplant stir fry is flavorful, easy, and ready in minutes! Made with simple ingredients, you’ll definitely want to add this dish to your weeknight routine.
I was never a big fan of eggplant as a kid. Now, I can’t live without it! I love them in many dishes, whether in curries, stir-fries, banchan (Korean side dishes), or lasagna.
What’s so special about this doubanjiang eggplant stir fry?
It’s simply the BEST and flavorful. My mom makes this often and I saw a quick method to retain the eggplant’s purple hue from Magic Ingredients YouTube and loved it. Usually, my mom will steam or flash fry the eggplant without the salt rub until slightly tender before tossing them in the sauce. So, give it a try and let me know which method you like the best.
Dou ban jiang Eggplant stir fry key ingredients
- Eggplant – I used Japanese eggplant but the round one works too. Just cut it in cubes so you have more of the white area exposed. This way, it’ll be softer once fried. If using round eggplant, please increase the frying time.
- Dou ban jiang – If you have not tried this umami laden bean sauce, you are missing out. One spoonful elevates the dish to a whole different level. It comes in spicy or non spicy version. So, take your pick and adjust to your taste accordingly. One of my favorite brands is Master (picture below).
- Peppers and aromatics – The ingredients added here are really flexible. I usually have half of that pepper lying around, so I just throw it in there. They do add a touch of sweetness and crunch to the dish. Plus, it makes the dish more eye pleasing with the colors.
How to cook doubanjiang eggplant stir fry
Step 1: Prepare the eggplant
I like to use the roll-cut method to prepare the eggplant and cut them into a little larger than bite-size pieces (eggplant will shrink when fried). The goal is to have as many white areas exposed so the eggplant cooks faster when you flash fry them.
Rub the eggplant with salt, set aside for 5-10 minutes. You may or may not get lots of water out from the eggplant. If you do, drain it but reserve some so the flour sticks to the eggplant.
Add the flour and simply toss to coat.
Step 2: Cook and serve
Heat a large wok with enough oil for frying to about 350°F (176°C). Carefully, drop the coated eggplant into the hot oil. Using a pair of chopsticks or spatula, move the eggplants around so they don’t stick together. Fry in batches of two if needed.
Flash fry for a minute or two until you have a thin golden crust. Using a sieve, remove the eggplant and drain on a towel to remove excess oil. The cooked eggplant’s texture should be soft in the middle but not mushy.
Clean the wok once cooled. Add a drizzle of oil and sauté garlic until aromatic. Continue to stir-fry the peppers and onion for another few seconds or until as crisp as you like.
Add the eggplant, doubanjiang, and seasoning. Quickly toss to combine. Add some water if it’s too dry. Taste test and season with more soy sauce if needed. Serve immediately.
Why You Need this Doubanjiang Eggplant Stir-Fry
- Super delicious
- Takes little time to make
- Easily customizable – pair with other veggies or use a spicy doubanjiang for heat
If you try this recipe, I would love to hear your feedback and see your beautiful re-creation. Leave me a comment, rate it, and tag @woon.heng and #woonheng to your photos on Instagram or Facebook. Happy cooking, friends!
Dou ban jiang Eggplant Stir-Fry
- 1 lb eggplant about 2 medium-sized
- 4 cloves garlic sliced
- ½ medium-sized onion
- ⅓ cup chopped bell pepper
- ⅓ cup chopped bell pepper
- salt to remove the water from the eggplant
- cooking oil
- 1 tablespoon doubanjiang plus more to taste
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon Chinese black vinegar
- ½ tablespoon sugar
- Using the roll-cut method, slice eggplant into larger than bite-sized pieces. Transfer to a large bowl and rub about ½ teaspoon salt all over the eggplant. Set aside for 5-10 minutes.
- You may or may not get a lot of moisture at this point. If you do, drain it out but reserve some so the flour can blend in and stick to the eggplant.
- Lightly coat the eggplant with 2 tablespoons of flour.
- Heat a large wok with enough oil for frying (the height of the oil should cover the eggplant) to about 350F. Carefully drop the coated eggplant into the hot oil.
- Using a pair of chopsticks, move the eggplant around so they cook evenly.
- Flash fry for about 1 – 2 minutes until a thin crust is formed. Using a sieve, remove eggplant and drain on a towel to absorb excess oil.
- Clean the wok or pan and set it over medium heat. Add a drizzle of oil and sauté garlic until aromatic. Then, continue to stir-fry the peppers and onion for another minute until as crisp as you like.
- Add the doubanjiang, stir to combine.
- Add the eggplant and remaining sauces, then quickly toss everything together to combine. If it appears to be too dry, add about 3-4 tablespoons of water then continue to stir-fry until flavors meld. Taste test and season with more doubanjiang or soy sauce.
- Serve immediately.
Delicious! I love the eggplant! Thanks so much!