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5 from 10 votes

Spicy Garlic Eggplant (鱼香茄子)

This Spicy Garlic Eggplant dish is inspired by the famous Szechuan dish '鱼香茄子, Yú xiāng qiézi'. It is packed with flavors of spicy chili, ginger and a mixture of delicious sauces. What an appetizing dish to add to your lunch or dinner plans!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Total Time35 mins
Course: Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine: Asian, Chinese
Keyword: Eggplant, Stirfry
Servings: 2 people
Author: woonheng


  • 1 lb [450g] Japanese eggplant
  • 2 oz [65g] firm tofu pressed and mashed
  • 6 dried chilis boiled until soft
  • 1 tablespoon finely minced ginger
  • 3 cloves garlic sliced
  • a handful of chopped green onions
  • oil for cooking
  • salt to taste
  • ¾ cup water with 1 teaspoon cornstarch whisk to combine


  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Chenkiang vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon cooking wine, Michiu or sub with vegetable broth


  • Place dried chilis in a small pot with 1 cup of water (enough to cover all the chilis) and bring it to a rolling boil. Then, cook until chili turns soft. Drain and chop chilis into tiny bits which should yield about 1 tablespoon.
  • Cut eggplant into 2" chunks, then heat a small tall pot with about 1 cup of oil to about 375°F (190°C).
  • Fry eggplant for 1 minute, remove and drain them on a paper towel to absorb excess oil.
  • Heat a non-stick pan over medium heat with a drizzle of oil and add in the mashed tofu. Pan-fry tofu until golden brown, then push to the side of the pan.
  • Add another swirl of oil in the pan, and sauté chili, ginger, and garlic until aromatic, about 1 minute.
  • Place in the partially cooked eggplant and season with soy sauce, sugar, vinegar, michiu, and give it a quick toss to combine.
  • Gradually add in the water with cornstarch then stir to mix all the ingredients together.
  • Let the mixture simmer until the sauce is thickened and eggplant is fork-tender. Season with more salt or soy sauce if needed.
  • Transfer to a serving bowl and serve warm with a bowl of your favorite cooked grain.


  • If using round eggplant, increase the water required and cooking time