Raising two kids and trying to feed them healthy food, I’ve learnt these past 17 years that Asian recipes are the easiest way to make kids eat vegetables. Be it Japanese style salads, Thai soups and curries or Chinese stir fry dishes in sweet and sour sauces, the bold flavours and aromas always win hearts all around the dinner table.

This Sichuan style eggplant in garlic sauce is a fuss free recipe and lip smacking good!
Traditionally it’s made with long Chinese eggplants but if you can’t find them, the round globes just do fine as well. Soaking the eggplants in salted water keeps the colour fresh, reduces bitterness and adds flavour to the flesh.

Stir fry is my most favourite of cooking techniques, as not only it gets done in a jiffy but also preserves most of the nutrients in the vegetables. The only requirement is to stay prepared with all the ingredients ready and within reach because once the cooking starts, the process gets done very quickly.

The hot garlic sauce is a versatile flavour enhancer that works well with all vegetarian and non vegetarian stir fry dishes. I love garlic that’s why I add a lot to my sauce for a big kick of heat and flavour. It contrasts well with the creamy, bitter-sweet, caramelised and charred eggplants. You can also add other vegetables to the same recipe to make the dish more colourful; baby corn, spring peas, mushrooms and spring onions taste great with this sauce.

-for pure vegetarian version replace soy sauce, shrimp paste and oyster sauce with fermented soybean paste and mushroom stock. (mushroom stock can be made easily by steeping dry mushrooms in hot water for 30 minutes).
-if you can’t find shrimp paste or oyster sauce OR don’t like the smell, simply add two more tablespoons of soy sauce instead.


3 long or round eggplants
4 cloves garlic
1/2 inch piece ginger
2 tablespoons corn flour
4 tablespoons dark soy sauce
3 tablespoons white vinegar
1 teaspoon shrimp paste or oyster sauce
2 teaspoons brown sugar
2 red chilli peppers
A small bunch fresh coriander
2-3 tablespoons peanut or sunflower oil
salt and pepper to taste

This Is What You Do:

Cut eggplants in long strips or wedges. Soak the pieces in salted water for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile finely chop garlic and ginger. Add them to a bowl.

Add soy sauce, vinegar, sugar and shrimp paste or oyster sauce to the bowl with ginger and garlic.

Dilute 1 teaspoon corn flour into the sauce mix. Set aside.

Chop red chilli peppers and coriander. Set aside.

Heat oil in a wok or deep frying pan on medium high heat.

Drain and pat dry egg plant pieces. Sprinkle with the remaining corn flour. Rub with hands to thinly coat them all over with corn flour.

Add to the wok, stir fry till the eggplants are tender inside and lightly charred on the outside.

Push them on one side of the pan. Add the garlic sauce to the pan. As soon as it starts bubbling and thickening, mix it with eggplant pieces to coat them completely with the glossy sauce.

Remove from heat. Garnish with red chilli peppers and coriander.

Serve hot over egg noodles or steamed rice.

Serves 2

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