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Eggplant with Sticky Chilli Garlic Sauce

Eggplant, oh Eggplant, how I love thee… I am an eggplant lover to the core.  When cooked well, it is so luxuriously soft and silky and is an eager sponge for flavour.  The mild flavoured eggplant is a perfect vehicle for big bold flavours. This dish has just that.

Uncharacteristically for me, this recipe is a little intensive on the number of ingredients, but it is worth it.

I do recommend that you read through this recipe before starting, as it’s better to have everything ready to go when you need it.  Like much of Chinese-style cooking, more time is actually spent prepping all the ingredients. The actual cooking process is fast and furious. If you spend the time to prep- it comes together almost like a magic trick!

All of these ingredients are key staples of a Chinese kitchen. If you do a lot of Asian cooking, hopefully you already have many on hand.  It may be worth the investment though to pick up any you are missing though, I guarantee, you’ll be doing this recipe a few times. It’s that delicious. If you need a gluten free version- there are several ‘substitutes’ for mirin.  There are also plenty of GF Soy Sauces these days.

It’s the perfect blend of spicy, umami and sweet. It is absolutely delectable over some freshly steamed rice and topped with some fresh onions and lime. Go ahead, what are you waiting for?

What you need:

For eggplant prep:

  1. 2 medium eggplants

  2. Couple pinches of salt

  3. 1 tbs cornflour

For the sauce:

  1. 2 tbs soy sauce

  2. 2 tbs mirin

  3. 2 tsp water

  4. 1 tsp cornflour

  5. 2 tsp coconut or raw sugar

  6. (if your eggplants are a bit on the large side- you may need more sauce)

For frying:

  1. 3 tbs vegetable oil

  2. 1 tsp ginger minced

  3. 3 garlic cloves minced

  4. Chilli flakes (to taste)

For serving (optional):

  1. 2 sprigs shallots, finely sliced

  2. Sesame seeds

  3. Steamed rice

  4. Lime


  1. Cut the eggplants into chunks, about the size and thickness of a finger. Transfer to a large bowl, sprinkle generously with salt and mix well to combine.  Allow to sit for a minimum of 30 minutes.  Rinse the salt off quickly, then pat dry.  Try to remove as much moisture as you can.  Sprinkle with cornflour and mix well to coat.

  2. Mix all of the ingredients for the sauce in a small bowl.

  3. Heat a good glug of oil in wok over medium heat.  Wait until it smokes, then add the eggplant and fry for about 5-6 minutes. Once the skin is well browned, remove the eggplant and set aside.

  4. Add a little more oil to the wok then add the ginger, garlic, and chilli and stir until fragrant.  Pop the eggplant back in and pour in the sauce.  Stir until the eggplant is evenly coated and the sauce thickens.

  5. Garnish with shallots and sesame seeds and serve over steamed rice with a slice of lime on the side.

  6. Impress family and friends with super yummy food.



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