Vegan Chinese aubergine

Vegan Chinese aubergine

vegan chinese aubergine

September is slowly coming to an end, although you would not have guessed it stepping outside as it’s supremely hot this week!

The end of September means that my beloved aubergines will soon disappear off the green grocer’s shelves so I am keen to share one more aubergine recipe with you before the end of the season.

This recipe is a simple midweek dinner that’s easy to make, yet it’s somehow impressive. It’s a simple aubergine stir-fry flavoured with a bunch of aromatics in a salty, sweet and sour glaze served over a bowl of steaming hot rice.

To stop the aubergine from soaking up too much oil, you coat it in a thin layer of cornflour first which also produces nice crisp edges during pan-frying. Thanks to aubergine’s firm and meaty texture, this dish is rather satisfying whether you’re vegan or not.

vegan chinese aubergine fried pieces

vegan chinese aubergine dinner

vegan chinese aubergine macro

serves
2
PREP
30 min
COOKING
30 min
serves
2
PREPARATION
30 min
COOKING
30 min
INGREDIENTS
  • 2 medium aubergines / eggplants
  • 2 tsp salt
  • approx. 1 tbsp cornflour
  • 2 tbsp peanut oil (or other oil suitable for frying)
  • 2 spring onions, sliced thinly
  • ½-1 red hot chilli or a pinch of chilli flakes, depending on your tolerance
  • 3 garlic cloves, sliced thinly
  • 2.5 cm / 1″ piece of ginger, finely diced
  • sesame seeds, to garnish (optional)

SAUCE

METHOD
  1. Cut aubergines / eggplants into 3-4 thick slices and then each slice into wedges lengthwise.
  2. OPTIONAL: Place aubergine / eggplant pieces in a colander over a deep plate. Sprinkle liberally with salt and set aside for the salt to draw the bitterness out. After 45 mins, wash the salt off and blot the aubergine dry with a kitchen towel.
  3. Sprinkle the aubergine / eggplant pieces with a thin layer of cornflour / cornstarch. You can either use a small sieve for this (or a tea strainer) or a large ziplock bag although I prefer the former as it’s kinder on the environment. If using a bag, place aubergine pieces and cornflour in it. Zip up and shake the contents well to coat the aubergine.
  4. Heat up 1 tbsp of oil in a non-stick pan, on medium heat. Once the oil warms up, place the aubergine / eggplant pieces in the pan and fry until gently charred on the outside and cooked through. Rotate the pieces around the pan to make sure they brown evenly on all sides. You may need to fry the aubergine in batches if your pan is small. Once ready, set aside.
  5. In a small bowl, combine tamari (or soy sauce), rice wine vinegar, maple syrup, sesame oil and 3 tbsp of water. In another small bowl, combine ½ tbsp cornflour with 2 tbsp of water to thicken the sauce with later.
  6. Heat up 1 tbsp of oil in a pan. Add spring onions and sliced chilli (if using). Stir fry until soft (about 1-2 minutes), then add diced ginger and garlic – fry until they both soften and become fragrant (about 1 minute).
  7. Push the aromatics to the side of the pan and pour in the sauce, followed by the cornflour slurry. Mix the two well. Simmer the sauce gently for a few seconds so that it can thicken.
  8. Stir in grilled aubergine to warm it up gently. Serve over a bowl of steaming hot rice.

NOTES
My recipe is adaptation of this recipe.

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NUTRITIONAL INFO
calories
378
19%
sugars
23 g
26%
fats
22 g
31%
saturates
4 g
18%
proteins
8 g
17%
carbs
43 g
17%
*per serving
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5.0
15 reviews, 29 comments
REVIEWS & QUESTIONS
chloe:
hi, I've made this before and it was delicious! I was wondering if you think that sugar or golden syrup would work instead of maple syrup or if it would affect the flavour too much? thanks :)
    Ania
    Ania:
    Hi Chloe,
    Sugar will definitely work just as well. Enjoy! x Ania
Patrick:
Looks good will try tonight.
    Ania
    Ania:
    Thanks Patrick, I hope you'll enjoy it! Ania
Farida:
I made this yesterday and it was super delicious! Thank you for sharing this wonderful recipe
    Ania
    Ania:
    Thanks Farida! I’m delighted to hear that you enjoyed it and many thanks for taking the time to review – I really appreciate it. x Ania
Sheetal:
I just made this today and it is a flavour packed recipe! We loved it! I did not sprinkle cornstarch on the eggplant and fry it in oil. Instead, I baked the eggplant pieces on 400F for 15 min. I make double batch of the sauce and added tofu pieces and baked eggplant. This recipe is a keeper. Thank you!
    Ania
    Ania:
    Thank you, Sheetal! I'm so happy to hear that you enjoyed it and found it flavourful! And many thanks for taking the time to let me know, I really appreciate your review. x Ania
Cat:
Amazing recipe. Tastes just like my fav dish that I order for take out. Perfect balance of flavours. Big hit with the family. Will definitely make this again.
    Ania
    Ania:
    Thanks so much, Cat! I'm delighted to hear that! x Ania
Shivani Pema:
This was delicious!!
    Ania
    Ania:
    Thank you, Shivani! I'm delighted to hear that you enjoyed it! Ania
Adrestia:
I usually prepare aubergines "mediterannean style" (read South of France or Italy or Greece or Middle east) with the occasional miso glaze, but this recipe is going to be a welcome new addition for me during Summer! It's delicious ! I did not have any fresh chili or spring onion, so I replaced the spring onions with shallots and chinese chive, and infused the oil with thai chili instead, and it was great. Thank you for the recipe.
    Ania
    Ania:
    I'm so happy to hear that you enjoyed this dish, Adrestia! I am with you, I enjoy aubergines pretty much in any context as long as they are cooked right - I am glad to hear that this recipe has added to your usual aubergine repertoire. x Ania
Andy:
Absolutely delicious!
    Ania
    Ania:
    Thanks, Andy! I'm so glad to hear that you enjoyed it! Ania
Dana:
I got some clearance eggplants at the store and was trying to figure out what to do with them. I made this recipe and it's SO GOOD, thank you so much for this. I literally cannot stop eating it. I'm trying to put it away and keep stealing pieces out of the pan and the container
    Ania
    Ania:
    Aw, thanks so much Dana! I'm delighted to hear that you have enjoyed them so much! x Ania
Natalija:
This is so far my favourite food blog. Everything I r cooked from this blog is amazing! Thank you Ania for posting these recipes and beautiful pictures! You're a kitchen magician 😘
    Ania
    Ania:
    Aw, thank you so much for your kind words, Natalija! I am so touched. Stay safe! x Ania
Charlotte:
This has my mouth watering. . Would it be possible to replace the rice vinegar by apple cider vinegar?
Thanks for the recipe! x
    Ania
    Ania:
    Hi Charlotte,
    Yes, I think so but go by your taste buds as they vary in acidity. Hope that helps! Ania
Regan:
A big hit! I added sautéd mushrooms and baby bok choy. YUM!
    Ania
    Ania:
    Thanks, I am glad to hear that! x Ania
Teresa Langdon:
Loved it and so did the whole family
    Ania
    Ania:
    That's great to hear. Thanks, Teresa! Ania
Pauline Simpson:
I made this tonight and it was delicious. I added some green beans though. This was exactly what flavour we wanted to eat. Thanks
    Ania
    Ania:
    Great to hear! Ania
Franziska:
I just found your site and I really love all your recipes! I made some stew and had half an eggplant leftover. This looks so amazing, I will buy another eggplant and make it! That is why I love being vegan, cook something, have leftovers and turn that into something else that is delicious ;)
Also love your dessert recipes!! Gosh I have to try some of those chocolate pots!
Thank you for the recipes! :)
    Ania
    Ania:
    My pleasure, Franziska! I'm delighted to hear that! Yes, I agree 100% - veganism that does to make you even more creative in the kitchen as conventional ingredients aren't there so you need to think on your feet. Ania
Judy:
Because I have a hectic work schedule, I often cook several meals for the week on Sunday. This Sunday I made this dish, but as I needed to stretch the dish for at least a few days over the week, I added tofu, fresh asparagus, and green, yellow, and orange peppers. Of course, that meant doubling the heavenly sauce. Then I had to stop myself from eating it all on Sunday night so I would have leftovers during the week. It is a wonderful dish, both fresh and reheated, and one I am sure I will make often. Thank you for the delicious recipe.
    Ania
    Ania:
    Aw, thanks Judy! I'm glad to hear you enjoyed it so much! :) Ania
Kelly:
I just made this recipe, it is delicious. I used fresh finger eggplant from my garden so no bitterness at all.
Was also suitable for my daughter with PKU (phenylketonuria) as low in protein.
Will be making again.
    Ania
    Ania:
    That's fabulous news, Kelly, especially the fact that your daughter is able to enjoy it too. Ania
Renetta:
Made this today and I loved it! Thanks for the recipe.
The only thing I noticed was that in step 6 you mention ginger but it isn't listed in the ingredients ;-)
Keep up the great blog!
    Ania
    Ania:
    Thanks, Renetta! I'm so glad to hear that you liked it. And sorry about the ginger, you are so right! I'm correcting it now! :) Ania
Sara:
Oh my goodness, I LOVE eggplants and Asian food, but for whatever reason I don't think I've ever thought of combining the two! This sounds so good. It's been so hot where I live, too! Hopefully fall weather is just around the corner. :)
    Ania
    Ania:
    Thanks, Sara! Yes, aubergines work super well with Asian flavours. In fact, India and South-East Asia is where they originally hail from :) Ania
stephanie:
ooh i love aubergine cooked this way. gorgeous!
    Ania
    Ania:
    Thanks so much for kind words, Stephanie! x Ania
Therese:
I can hardly wait to try thgis out. It looks wonderful! xx
    Ania
    Ania:
    Thanks, Therese! Hope you'll like it! Ania
Pete:
Wonder what leaving the maple syrup out of it would do to the flavour. Can't eat sugar as I am trying to get off being pre-diabetic. All chinese food seems to be sweetened! Curses!
    Ania
    Ania:
    Hi Pete,
    Maple syrup provides sweetness to contrast rice vinegar, making the flavour more rounded. You can take it out if you wish although it will alter the taste, for sure. If you can have dates, it may be worth adding some pureed dates instead. Hope that helps! Ania
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