Umami Recipes
Umami Recipes

Family Recipes

Szechuan Eggplant

4 servings


20 minutes

active time

45 minutes

total time


1 1/2 lbs Japanese Eggplant (about 4 x 10 inch eggplants)

2 teaspoons salt

bowl of water


2 tablespoons cornstarch

2-4 tablespoons peanut oil (or wok oil)

4 cloves garlic, rough chopped

2 teaspoons ginger, finely minced

5-10 dried red chilies

1 teaspoon Szechuan peppercorns (or sub regular peppercorns)

1/4 cup soy sauce or low sodium soy sauce

1 tablespoon garlic chili paste (or sub 1 teaspoon chili flakes)

1 tablespoon sesame oil

1 tablespoon rice vinegar

1 tablespoon Chinese cooking wine (or mirin)

3 tablespoons sugar, brown sugar, coconut sugar, maple syrup or alternative

1/2 teaspoon five spice


Cut eggplant into 1/2 inch thick half-moons or into bite-sized pieces ( see photos). Place in a big bowl covered with water and stir in 2 teaspoons salt. Cover with a plate and let stand 20-30 minutes.

In the meantime, chop the garlic and ginger and make the Szechuan Sauce.

To make the Szechuan Sauce: Toast the Szechuan peppercorns in a dry skillet over medium heat for 1-2 minutes. Crush. Place these along with the remaining ingredients ( soy, chili paste, sesame oil, rice vinegar, Chinese cooking wine, sugar, and five spice) in a small bowl and whisk. Set by the stove.

Drain and rinse the eggplant and pat dry with a towel. Toss with the corn starch.

Working in 2 batches,

heat 1 -2 tablespoons oil in an extra-large skillet over medium heat. Add half the eggplant spreading them out. You want to get both sides nice and golden, and the insides cooked through -so take your time here and dont rush this step. Let one side brown then turn them over using tongs. This will take about 10 minutes for each batch. ( If in a hurry sometimes I’ll use 2 pans.) Set the eggplant aside.

Add 1 more tablespoon oil to the skillet, and over medium heat, add the garlic and ginger, stirring for 2 minutes. Turn the fan on, add the dried chilis and stir one minute. Pour the Szechuan sauce into the pan and bring to a simmer for 20 seconds. Add the eggplant back into the skillet, tossing gently for about 1 minute. If it seems dry add a tablespoon of water to loosen.

Place in a serving dish and top with scallions and optional peanuts.

Serve with rice, cauliflower rice, black rice or rice noodles.


Serving Size




Total Fat

21.8 g

Saturated Fat

3.5 g

Unsaturated Fat


Trans Fat

0 g


0 mg


1110.4 mg

Total Carbohydrate

29.6 g

Dietary Fiber

7.4 g

Total Sugars

17.8 g


5.9 g

4 servings


20 minutes

active time

45 minutes

total time
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