Spicy Chinese Eggplant by Guest Chef Ellen

​This week’s delicious meatless meal is blogged by my sweet, beautiful and bright friend, Ellen. I say bright not only because she’s smart but because she isn’t afraid of color. I love that about her! Her house, clothes and cooking are a fine reflection of her South Africa roots. 🙂 I hope you will give this recipe of Ellen’s a try, she’s a first-rate cook!

Spicy Chinese Eggplant from Ellen Z.

Is it just me, or does anyone else out there have trouble thinking about eggplant as a viable option for dinner? I mean, all I can think about is a mushy, tasteless, hot goo, inside of soggy breading, slathered in red sauce or tasteless half cooked slices of eggplant charred to death on the grill.

THEN I found this wonderful recipe for Spicy Chinese Eggplant that is SO fragrant and yummy and un-mushy, that the first time I made it I almost polished off the whole batch by myself!

The ingredient list is a little long, but totally worth it. I have adapted the recipe slightly from the original and it suits us perfectly. I serve this over rice and it is super satisfying.

I strongly suggest that you chop up all the veggies ahead of time and gather all the ingredients together so that everything is ready to go!

(Can you tell I watch a LOT of Food Network!)

Once that is done, the dish goes together fast.

The great thing about this dish is, in addition to being vegetarian it is also Vegan, so if you ever have to accommodate one of your vegan friends, they will be impressed!


2 large Japanese eggplants (or 1 large regular one or equivalent) – cut into 1 inch cubes

1 onion – diced

Sesame oil

6 garlic cloves – chopped

4 TBS minced fresh ginger –don’t skip this!

3 TBS brown sugar

2 TBS chili garlic sauce

2 tsp molasses

3 TBS reduced sodium soy sauce

1 cup tomato sauce

2 TBS rice vinegar

Crushed red pepper


Sesame seeds

1/2 cup water or a little more, as needed

Scallions – green parts sliced – as garnish


Heat 2-3 TBS sesame oil in a pan & add the eggplant. Add a little salt & some crushed red pepper.

Sauté over medium heat until tender but not mushy. Maybe 5-8 minutes. Set aside in a bowl.

Using the same pan, heat another 2 TBS sesame oil & saute the onion with a bit of crushed red pepper. When soft– add to the bowl with the eggplant.

In the same pan, heat another 2 TBS sesame oil. Add 2-3 TBS sesame seeds & the garlic & the ginger. When the garlic begins to brown add the tomato sauce, brown sugar, chili garlic sauce molasses, soy sauce, rice vinegar, & water.

Simmer over med-low heat for ten minutes. Add the eggplant & onions & simmer another 5 minutes.

Serve over rice garnished with the scallions & some additional sesame seeds Enjoy! So good! 🙂

Spicy Chinese Eggplant
Spicy Chinese Eggplant

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October 26, 2017

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