Spicy Garlic Eggplant Recipe

What's better than an Asian dish with a little bit of zip? This healthy recipe has all of the flavors that your traditional go-to takeout spot has, but the show's star isn't chicken or beef ... it's eggplant! Miriam Hahn curated this incredibly flavorful dish that is packed with flavor and healthy bites. Eggplant is great for vegetarians and meat-eaters alike, and it's very filling. In fact, we bet you won't even miss the meat in this. However, Hahn says that if you must have a little protein, you can add chicken, shrimp, or tofu.

The best part of this dish? Hahn says it best: "What I like most is it is such a great vegetable dish that is anything but boring! It can liven up a very basic main for sure," she raves. If you're a spice-seeker, this is right up your alley. If spice isn't entirely your thing, then you can bring the heat down a bit. "One thing to note, the chilis do make it very spicy, so if that is a concern, I would just use one or skip," Hahn shares. Now, let's get to it!

Gather the ingredients

Like most dishes, this one requires a few ingredients, with the main one, of course, being eggplant. You will also need salt, a diced red onion, three cloves of garlic, and some Thai chili peppers (you can also use Fresno peppers if you'd like). In addition, the dish calls for fresh ginger, sesame oil, soy sauce, rice vinegar, chili paste, and cornstarch. To finish off the list, you'll need sesame seeds, red pepper flakes, and limes.

Chop the eggplant

To start off the cooking party, you're going to show off your iron chef skills by chopping the eggplant into chunks. When they're all chopped up, place them in a colander. Shake some salt on the eggplant, and set in the sink for 15 to 20 minutes. This helps to release some of the water. At this time, you can also chop your onion, garlic, ginger, and chilis. Go ahead and put the knife down because you won't need it again.

Heat it up

Once you have everything chopped, add the sesame oil to a frying pan of your choice. Turn the heat to medium-high, and let the pan get hot. Now, add in your onion, garlic, ginger, and chilis. Cook them for about five minutes. If the pan gets dry, Hahn recommends adding water. While your veggies are heating up, grab a bowl and begin mixing. Add the soy sauce, rice vinegar, chili paste, and cornstarch, and mix.

Add the eggplant

It's time for the star of the show to make its debut. Go ahead and add the eggplant to the pan with all of the other veggies. Cook everything together for about five minutes. Next, you will want to add the soy sauce mixture and let it simmer for just a few minutes. Once everything has simmered down, remove the pan from the stove and transfer it into a serving dish. Congrats, you're in the home stretch! 

The last step

Now it's time to make it look pretty. Add in the chopped scallions, sesame seeds, red pepper flakes, and a squeeze of lime before serving. Hahn recommends serving with rice. "You could certainly add chicken, shrimp, or tofu," Hahn shares. "All would be great. I have also served this over rice noodles." The leftovers will be good in your fridge for about three days. Now go and enjoy because this dish is best when it's served hot! 

Spicy Garlic Eggplant Recipe
5 from 33 ratings
This healthy recipe has all of the flavors that your traditional go-to takeout spot has, but the show's star isn't chicken or beef ... it's eggplant!
Prep Time
15
minutes
Cook Time
15
minutes
Servings
5
servings
Spicy Garlic Eggplant in bowl
Total time: 30 minutes
Ingredients
  • 3 Chinese eggplants, chopped
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ red onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 inch of fresh ginger, minced
  • 3 Thai chilis or Fresno peppers
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon chili paste
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 3 scallions, chopped
Optional Ingredients
  • Sesame seeds
  • Red pepper flakes
  • Limes
Directions
  1. Chop the eggplant into chunks and place in a colander. Shake some salt on the eggplant and set in the sink for 15 to 20 minutes to help release some of the water.
  2. Chop the onion, garlic, ginger, and chilis.
  3. Add the sesame oil to a frying pan and heat to medium-high. Add in the onion, garlic, ginger, and chilis.
  4. Cook for 5 minutes, adding water to the pan if it gets dry.
  5. While that is cooking, mix up the soy sauce, rice vinegar, chili paste, and cornstarch.
  6. Add the eggplant to the frying pan and cook for about 5 minutes. Add the soy sauce mixture and simmer for a few minutes.
  7. Remove from stove. Add chopped scallions, sesame seeds, red pepper flakes, and a squeeze of lime before serving. Goes great with rice!
Nutrition
Calories per Serving 130
Total Fat 3.5 g
Saturated Fat 0.5 g
Trans Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Total Carbohydrates 24.3 g
Dietary Fiber 10.7 g
Total Sugars 13.2 g
Sodium 595.2 mg
Protein 4.5 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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