Chinese aubergine

Ching-He Huang's Chinese aubergine is a spicy vegetarian recipe made with garlic, chilli, ginger and soy sauce
By Ching-He Huang
Chinese aubergine
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 2
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Effort: easy


  • groundnut oil, for deep-frying
  • 1 large aubergine, cut into 2cm x 4cm batons
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2.5 cm piece ginger, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 red chilli, cut into rings
  • 2 tbsp chilli bean sauce
  • 200 ml hot vegetable stock
  • 1 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp chinese black vinegar, or balsamic vinegar
  • 2 pinches brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp cornflour
  • jasmine rice, to serve


1. Fill a wok to one-third of its depth with groundnut oil and place over a high heat. When the oil reaches 180C, check using a digital thermometer or a cube of bread dropped in turns golden brown in 15 seconds and floats to the surface, it is ready to use.

2. Pat the aubergine dry with kitchen paper and, using tongs, lower each piece into the oil. Deep-fry for 2-3 minutes or until the aubergine is light golden, the skin slightly wrinkled and the flesh soft but still retaining its shape. Remove from the oil and drain on kitchen paper.

3. Pour the oil from the wok through a sieve into a heatproof container, you can reserve it for other recipes. Return 1 tablespoon of oil to the wok and heat until smoking, then add the garlic, ginger and chilli and stir-fry quickly for a few seconds. Stir in the chilli bean paste and return the aubergines to the wok.

4. Pour in the hot stock and bring to the boil, then turn the heat down to medium and simmer for 3-4 minutes, until the aubergine is soft and creamy.

5. Season with soy sauce, vinegar and brown sugar. Blend the cornflour to a paste with 2 tablespoons cold water and stir this into the wok, cooking until the sauce has thickened.

6. Spoon the aubergine into a large serving dish and serve immediately with jasmine rice.

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