Vegan Stir-Fried Eggplant

Stir-fried eggplants

The Spruce

Prep: 8 mins
Cook: 10 mins
Total: 18 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
220 Calories
11g Fat
28g Carbs
6g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 220
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 11g 15%
Saturated Fat 1g 5%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 1224mg 53%
Total Carbohydrate 28g 10%
Dietary Fiber 9g 33%
Protein 6g
Calcium 253mg 19%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This simple eggplant recipe is aromatic and flavorful, and the generous amounts of fresh garlic make it extra tasty. This eggplant recipe makes a terrific side dish that can easily be made vegetarian by swapping out the fish sauce for soy sauce. It works with any type of eggplant, whatever is fresh and available where you live. You can also adjust the spice level in this eggplant recipe, taking it anywhere from mild to spicy hot, according to your liking.


  • For the Sauce
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce (or 1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce if vegetarian or vegan)
  • 2 tablespoons oyster sauce (or vegetarian  oyster sauce, or Lee Kum Kee brand vegetarian stir-fry sauce)
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch 
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • For the Eggplant
  • 2 to 3 tablespoon oil (for stir-frying)
  • 1/2 onion (purple onions work well for this recipe)
  • 6 cloves garlic (minced, divided)
  • 1 to 3 red chilies (depending on how spicy you want it)
  • 1 Chinese  Japanese eggplants (large, with dark purple skin, or 2 thinner, with light purple skin)
  • 1/4 cup water (for stir-frying)
  • 2 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil (divided)
  • Optional: 1/4 cup peanuts (or cashews, dry-roasted, chopped)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Gather the ingredients
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  2. Prepare the sauce by mixing together all sauce ingredients except cornstarch and water.

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  3. Prepare the cornstarch and water mixture in a separate cup or bowl. Set both aside.

    Prepare the cornstarch and water
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  4. Chop eggplant into bite-size pieces. Be sure to leave the peel on - this is where most of the nutrients are.

    Chop eggplant into bite size pieces
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  5. Place 2 to 3 tablespoons oil to a wok or large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the onion, half of the garlic, chili, and eggplant. Reserve the rest of the garlic for later. Stir-fry for 5 minutes. When the wok or frying pan becomes dry, add a little of the water a few tablespoons at a time, enough to keep the ingredients frying nicely.

    Place oil in a wok
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  6. Add 2 tablespoons soy sauce and continue stir-frying for 5 more minutes, or until the eggplant is soft and the white flesh is almost translucent. Add a little more water when the pan becomes too dry (up to 1/4 cup).

    Add water
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  7. When the eggplant is soft, add the rest of the garlic plus the sauce. Stir-fry to incorporate.

  8. Lastly, add the cornstarch-water mixture. Stir well so that the sauce thickens uniformly (this will only take a minute or less). Remove from heat.

    Lastly add cornstarch and water
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  9. Taste for saltiness/flavor. If not salty or flavorful enough, add a little more fish sauce. If too salty, add a squeeze of lemon or lime juice. 

    Taste for salt
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  10. Now add 3/4 of the fresh basil, stirring briefly to incorporate. 

    Now add basil
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  11. Slide onto a serving platter and sprinkle the rest of the basil over top and chopped nuts, if desired.

    Put in bowl
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  12. Serve with jasmine rice and enjoy!

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