Sichuan Eggplant in Garlic Sauce

Sichuan Eggplant in Garlic Sauce

The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

Prep: 30 mins
Cook: 10 mins
Total: 40 mins
Servings: 3 to 4 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
174 Calories
6g Fat
28g Carbs
6g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 3 to 4
Amount per serving
Calories 174
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 6g 7%
Saturated Fat 1g 5%
Cholesterol 8mg 3%
Sodium 893mg 39%
Total Carbohydrate 28g 10%
Dietary Fiber 7g 26%
Total Sugars 10g
Protein 6g
Vitamin C 7mg 37%
Calcium 32mg 2%
Iron 1mg 6%
Potassium 462mg 10%
*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 popular Sichuan (Szechuan) side dish recipe for eggplant in garlic sauce is made with Chinese eggplant, which is thinner and longer than the short and thicker eggplant that is commonly available in supermarkets.

Ingredients

  • 2 medium Chinese eggplants (about 10 to 11 ounces)

For the Sauce:

  • 4 1/2 teaspoons dark soy sauce

  • 4 1/2 teaspoons light soy sauce

  • 1 tablespoon Chinese red rice vinegar

  • 1 tablespoon Chinese rice wine

  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar

  • 1/3 cup chicken broth

For the Pork:

  • 1 pinch freshly ground black pepper

  • 1/4 teaspoon cornstarch

  • 3 to 4 tablespoons ground pork (no more than 1/4 cup)

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, or peanut oil

  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic

  • 1 teaspoon minced ginger

  • 1 green onion, white and green parts, finely chopped

  • 1 tablespoon chili garlic sauce

  • 1 tablespoon water

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Sichuan Eggplant in Garlic Sauce ingredients

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

  2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.

    pot with water

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  3. While waiting for the water to boil, prepare the eggplant. Cut the ends off the eggplant and then cut the eggplant in half crosswise. Cut each half lengthwise into quarters.

    eggplant cut into pieces

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  4. Line up the eggplant slices from left to right and cut diagonally into pieces approximately 3/4-inch thick.

    Line up the eggplant slices from left to right and cut diagonally into pieces

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

  5. Add the eggplant to the boiling water for 2 to 3 minutes.

    Add the eggplant to the boiling water

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

  6. Drain the eggplant on paper towels.

    Drain the eggplant on paper towels

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

  7. Make the sauce by combining the dark and light soy sauces, vinegar, rice wine or dry sherry, sugar, and chicken broth in a small bowl. Set aside.

    combining the dark and light soy sauces, vinegar, rice wine or dry sherry, sugar, and chicken broth in a small bowl

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

  8. In a separate small bowl, use your fingers to mix the black pepper and cornstarch into the ground pork. (The black pepper adds a bit of extra flavor and a small amount of cornstarch helps keep the ground pork from sticking).

    mix the black pepper and cornstarch into the ground pork

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

  9. Heat a wok or pan over medium-high heat and add 1 tablespoon of oil to the wok. When the oil is hot, add the garlic, ginger, and green onion.

    add the garlic, ginger, and green onion to the oil in the wok

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

  10. Stir-fry for 10 seconds, then add the ground pork.

    pork and garlic mixture cooking in a wok

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

  11. Stir in the chili garlic sauce.

    add the chili garlic sauce to the pork cooking in a wok

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

  12. Stir-fry until the pork turns white and is nearly cooked (about 1 minute), using a spatula to break the pork into small pieces.

    pork cooking in a wok

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

  13. Add the eggplant and stir for a minute to mix everything together. Give the sauce a quick re-stir and swirl it into the pan, stirring. Turn down the heat to medium-low, cover and simmer for about 10 minutes, or until the eggplant is tender.

    eggplant added to the pork mixture cooking in the wok

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

  14. In a small cup, mix the cornstarch and water.

    mix the cornstarch and water in a bowl

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

  15. Add the cornstarch slurry to the middle of the pan, stirring quickly to thicken. Once thickened, the dish is done. Serve hot.

    Sichuan Eggplant in Garlic Sauce in a wok

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

Tip

  • Both Chinese eggplant and chili garlic sauce are available at Asian markets and many mainstream grocery stores.

Recipe Variations

  • If you don't have Chinese red rice vinegar, use balsamic or red wine vinegar instead.
  • Dry sherry is a good substitute for the Chinese rice wine.
  • Instead of boiling the eggplant, you can stir-fry it before combining with the pork and other ingredients: Heat the wok and add 3 tablespoons oil. When the oil is very hot, add the eggplant slices. Stir fry the eggplant for 2 to 3 minutes, until it begins to brown. Be sure to keep stirring the eggplant so that it doesn’t stick to the pan. Press down on the eggplant to remove excess oil. Remove and drain on paper towels. Continue with the recipe.