Watch how to make it here
In honor of Lunar New Year, here is a recipe to impress your family and friends. This dragon eggplant with spicy garlic sauce is just as delicious as it is beautiful. It’s a comforting side dish that is pleasantly spicy and sweet with the eggplant creamy and tender.
A few notes:
- This is named dragon eggplant because it is supposed to resemble the shape of a dragon. I was inspired by Chef Wang’s version of this dish.
- Slicing the eggplant can be tricky so we will be utilizing the chopstick method to make it easier on us! See the instructions below or refer to the video on how to slice the eggplant.
- The traditional method involves deep frying in a wok but I wanted a healthier option so we will be shallow frying instead. The cornstarch will keep the eggplant crisp and not soggy. We will also be using a nonstick pan so that anyone can make this at home but feel free to use a wok if you have one.
- For this recipe to work, we will be using Chinese eggplant for its thin, long shape and not the globe-shaped Italian eggplant. Japanese eggplant can be used as a substitute.
- Doubanjiang, also known as spicy bean sauce, can be found in Asian grocery stores. If not easily accessible, feel free to substitute with gochujang.
- Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
Dragon Eggplant with Spicy Garlic Sauce
- 2 Chinese eggplant
- 1.5 tbsp cornstarch
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tbsp ginger, minced
- 1 tbsp doubanjiang
- 1 tsp Chinese black vinegar
- 1.5 tsp soy sauce
- 3/4 cup vegetable broth
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1 tsp vegan oyster sauce
- 2 scallions, roughly chopped
- 4 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 tbsp pickled chili pepper
- Step 1 Prep ginger, garlic, and scallion. Keep the white and green ends of the scallion separate. Combine Chinese vinegar, doubanjiang, soy sauce, sugar, vegetable broth, and vegan oyster sauce in a bowl.
- Step 2 Insert an eggplant between 2 chopsticks on a cutting board. Holding the eggplant and chopsticks in place, begin to slice 1/4 inch rings horizontally until the knife lightly taps on the chopstick. The chopstick prevents the knife from slicing off too much. Repeat this process until you’ve sliced all of one side. Flip the eggplant to the other side and slice 1/4 inch rings at a 45 degree angle. Repeat this process until you’ve sliced all of this side. Dust cornstarch all over both eggplants including between each ring.
- Step 3 Heat up 3 tbsp of oil in a nonstick pan. Transfer the eggplant to the pan and shallow fry for 3-4 minutes on each side until lightly charred. Feel free to add more oil as needed. Remove eggplant from pan and set aside on a plate.
- Step 4 In the same pan, add 1 tbsp of oil along with the ginger and white ends of the scallion. After a couple minutes, add the garlic. Add the sauce to the pan and wait for it to heat up. Once it begins to simmer, gently slide the eggplant into the pan. Cook for about 2-3 minutes. Spoon the sauce over the eggplant while it’s cooking.
- Step 5 To take the eggplant out of the plate, lift the pan and slightly tilt it onto a large plate. Use chopsticks or tongs to spread out the eggplant and coil it into a ring shape. Garnish with the green ends of the scallion and pickled chili pepper.