I have a like-hate relationship with eggplant. I think I hate it, then I try it and remember that no, I really do like it. Seriously.
I had almost gone the entire summer without posting an eggplant recipe; a trend that would have continued if I hadn’t recently recategorized my recipes and came across previous favorites for eggplant BLTs, eggplant gyros and eggplant teriyaki stir-fry.
Oh yeah. I completely forgot how much I enjoyed eggplant last year, thanks in large part to our CSA, which gifted us eggplants almost weekly from August until the end of September. I was an eggplant-fool, roasting it for pasta, sandwiches or making it into bacon.
So, after being re-inspired, I was determined to create a new eggplant recipe before the end of summer. Spicy, hearty and meaty, this szechuan eggplant is destined to become a new weeknight favorite.
To me, the secret to cooking eggplant is low and slow. Giving it enough sauce and spicy, then cooking it until it turns from spongy to tender and meaty. Good eggplant should almost melt in your mouth, as it does in this spicy, fragrant dish.
I made a quick sauce using soy sauce, vinegar, fresh ginger, some crushed red pepper and a little corn starch. While I’m not a huge fan of corn-starch thickened sauces, I don’t mind it in Asian dishes and I love the extra body and thickness it gives this sauce.
As a dietitian, I know I’m supposed to tell you to serve this with brown rice, but I really, really, really love my white basmati rice. It’s just so good. Honestly, with all of the fiber from the eggplant, I’m not so worried about the brown rice vs. white rice argument for this dish. Though, you are welcome to use brown if you prefer.
If you try this recipe, let me know! Leave a comment, rate it, and tag your Instagram photos with #delishknowledge . I absolutely love seeing your creations. Happy cooking!Print
Szechuan Eggplant! This spicy eggplant is so delicious, a must-make! If you like spicy food then you must try this one. Vegan and Gluten-Free.
- 1 cup basmati rice
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
- 1 teaspoon maple syrup
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (depending on how spicy you like it. Start with 1/4 teaspoon and go from there)
- 1 1/4 pounds Japanese eggplant (preferred, but Italian globe will work)
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 poblano pepper, diced
- 1 bunch scallions, chopped white and green parts
- 1/4 cup cashews, toasted
- Rinse rice well, then place in pot with 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 15-20 minutes until rice is cooked and water is absorbed. Fluff with fork and set aside.
- Whisk together the soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, cornstarch, ginger, maple syrup, red pepper flakes in a large bowl. Chop eggplant and add to the mixture. Stir well until fully combined, set aside.
- Heat the sesame oil in a wok or large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic, diced poblano, and scallions. Stir fry until peppers and onion are crispy, about 5 minutes.
- Add in the eggplant mixture with the sauce and cook, another 5-10 minutes until eggplant is fork tender and sauce has thickened.
- Divide eggplant mixture over cooked rice and garnish with cashews.