Eggplant in Garlic Sauce

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  • 2 (400 grams in total) Chinese (long) eggplant, chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch, plus more to coat the eggplant
  • 1 tablespoon light soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon dark soy sauce (*see footnote)
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 and 1/2 tablespoons peanut oil (or vegetable oil)
  • 1 teaspoon minced ginger
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped


  1. Chop eggplant into bite-sized pieces.
    (Option 1) Place eggplant in a large bowl and add water to cover. Add 1 teaspoon salt, mix well. Place a pot lid on top to keep the eggplant under water for 15 minutes. Drain and pat dry.
  2. (Option 2) Spread the sliced eggplant out on a paper towel. Sprinkle Kosher salt on both sides of the eggplant slices. Allow to rest for 45-60 minutes. Pat dry without rinsing.
  3. Combine light soy sauce, dark soy sauce, sugar and the remaining 1 teaspoon cornstarch in a small bowl, mix well.
  4. Sprinkle eggplant with cornstarch and mix by hand, until eggplant is evenly coated with with a thin layer of cornstarch.
  5. Add 1 tablespoon oil to a nonstick skillet and heat over medium high heat until warm. Spread eggplant across the bottom of the skillet without overlapping. Grill the eggplant one side at a time until all the surfaces are charred and the eggplant turns soft, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer to a plate. Cook the remaining batch(es) with the same method (I cooked two batches by using a 24″ skillet). If the skillet gets too hot and starts to smoke, turn to medium heat.
  6. Add the remaining 1/2 teaspoon oil and the ginger and garlic into the same skillet. Stir a few times until fragrant. Add all the eggplant back into the skillet. Turn to medium heat. Mix the sauce again until cornstarch is fully dissolved and pour it over the eggplant. Immediately stir a few times, until the eggplant is evenly coated and the sauce thickens. Turn to lowest heat and taste a piece of eggplant (be careful, it’s very hot). To adjust seasoning, turn to medium heat again, sprinkle eggplant with a pinch of salt and mix well (if you will serve this dish as a side, it should be salty enough. But for serving over steamed rice, add about 1/4 teaspoon salt).

Notes: The dark soy sauce will add color to the dish and make it look more appetizing. You can skip it if you don’t have any in your pantry.

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