Dec 072009

It was Friday, and I was cooking for Shabbat in an uninspired way. Just your basic basil/lemon chicken roasted over root vegetables. Israeli salad (plenty of chopped tomatoes and cucumbers, seasoned with salt, lemon juice and olive oil). Houmous, corn salad, a plate of olives and pickles. The guests were a family with three small children. While I kept the meal plain to please the little people, I wanted one sophisticated dish for the grownups.

I opened the fridge and found two firm, purple eggplants in the vegetable bin. Aha.

Slice, flour, and fry them? Too ordinary.

Ratatouille? Somehow I wasn’t in the mood for ratatouille.

So I searched the friendly Net and found The Eggplant Recipe Database. I adapted this Chinese-ish recipe from it. It’s s sweet and sour, chili-hot and has lots of garlic. My adult guests loved it, and even the Little One, who claims to hate all purple food, ate and enjoyed.

Note: this is a good vegetarian dish. It makes a fine complement to brown rice and the salads mentioned above.

Eggplant in Garlic Sauce

Serves 4 as a vegetarian main dish, 8 as a side dish. Serve hot or at room temperature.


4 cups chopped eggplant; pieces about 1 inch wide.

oil for frying

8 cloves garlic, minced

1/3 cup ketchup

1 tablespoon ginger, minced

3 tablespoons soy sauce

A healthy pinch of chili flakes – or as much as you like. The dish should have some chili heat.

3 tablespoons plus 1 tsp. sugar

2 tablespoons white vinegar

3 tablespoons dry white wine

1/2 cup chopped green onions, green part only

1 tablespoon corn starch dissolved in 2 tablespoons water

2 tablespoons hot oil to add when sauce is finished

note: I was out of green onion, so I used about 1/4 cup chopped chives.


With Oriental recipes, most of the work goes into assembling and chopping the ingredients beforehand; the actual cooking goes quickly. To make life easier, have ready in separate bowls:

  • the chopped eggplant
  • the garlic and ginger, together
  • the ketchup, measured (just leave it in its measuring cup)
  • the sugar and vinegar, mixed to dissolve the sugar
  • the chopped green onions, and
  • the cornstarch, dissolved in water

1. Slice the eggplant in half, horizontally. Place each half skin up and cut through the peel first in horizontal, then in vertical slices. This will give you chunks with peel on each one.

2. Fry the eggplant in oil over medium heat for 10 minutes. The pieces should be cooked through and dark yellow.

3. Drain the eggplant on paper towels and set aside.

4. In the same skillet, fry the ginger and garlic, adding a little oil if needed. When a strong aroma arises, add the ketchup and stir for 1 minute.

5. Add the white wine, soy sauce, and chili flakes, and simmer for 2 minutes.

6. Add the sugar/vinegar mixture. Stir and simmer another few minutes.

7. Add the dissolved cornstarch in its water.

8. When the sauce starts to thicken, add the chopped green onions and hot oil. Stir for a minute.

9. Add the eggplant to the sauce. When it’s well coated with sauce, it’s ready to serve.

Serve over white rice or rice noodles.

3 More eggplant recipes:

Related Posts with Thumbnails

  10 Responses to “Spicy Eggplant in Garlic Sauce”

  1. Sounds delish! Hot like heated oil or hot like spicy oil?

  2. Hi, Rachel,

    The oil added to the sauce at the end is hot as in heated. I hope you make this recipe, it really is delish.

  3. Mimi, I finally got a chance to make this recipe today…and wow! It’s so delicious! Thank you so much for sharing it!

  4. Beth, I’m glad you enjoyed the eggplant recipe. I like cooking eggplant in all kinds of ways, but this one I think is the winner for my family.

  5. Mimi, I’m writing you a year after the last time I commented on this post just to tell you that I still make this dish frequently, and it is one of my all-time favourite meals! It is fabulous! Every time I make it, I think of you and how much I enjoy reading your blog. Thank you, my friend!

  6. Beth, I so appreciate your kind comment. A blogger just doesn’t know if her/his posts make a difference unless readers say. And – you’re very welcome!

  7. Just made this for Shabbat this week – fantastic! Thank you!

  8. Thank *you* for letting me know, RaggedMom! (love your nick!)

  9. I wanted to thank you for not only the recipes but also your commentary.
    I have been following your blog for quite some time. I was raised in Israel and am now in America and through you I have been able to recreate my comfort foods.
    I am so happy to have discovered your site!!!!

  10. Sas, I want to thank you for the heartwarming comment. It made my day.

 Leave a Reply



You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>