Chinese Garlic Eggplant

Serves 4

| Prep Time: 15 mins

| Cook Time: 20 mins

| Total Time: 35 mins

You may need: Dried Garlic Powder

Discover The Recipe

Chinese Garlic Eggplant is a familiar dish on Chinese and Southeast Asian restaurant menus. Tender chunks of savory eggplant bathed in a delicious, aromatic sauce will create many smiles at your home dinner table. There are many authentic Chinese variations to this dish, and just like the restaurant versions, it is easy to customize by adding in a protein of choice (pork, shrimp, beef, chicken, fish, tofu, etc). This recipe is vegan. The magic is created by the sauce, which we spice with our authentic Chinese Five Spice blend. 

You can get Chinese Five Spice at most supermarkets, but we are always left disappointed. The supermarket versions don't contain a key ingredient, Sichuan pepper, which adds the lemony mouth tingle that no other ingredient can replicate. Our Chinese Five Spice has freshly ground Sichuan pepper and the other essential spices to create the authentic blend. A little goes a long way to adding quintessential Chinese flavor to your meals. Try using in marinades for poultry, fowl, stir-fries, and grilled meats and veggies, or experiment with it on oatmeal, baked goods, soups/stews, or bolognese sauce.


  • Chinese Garlic Sauce:

  • 4 Tbsp tamari

  • 2 tsp Piquant Post Chinese Five Spice

  • 4 tsp brown sugar

  • 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar

  • 2 Tbsp dry sherry 

  • 2 tsp sesame oil 

  • Sauteed Garlic Eggplant:

  • 2 large eggplant, peeled and cut into large pieces

  • 4 Tbsp vegetable oil 

  • 8 large cloves garlic, minced

  • 2 Tbsp ginger, grated

  • 8 scallions, chopped

  • 1-2 scallions, chopped (optional garnish)

  • 1-2 Tbsp white sesame seeds (optional garnish)


The garlic sauce in this recipe is a very flavorful combination of sweet and savory. If you like a little spicy kick to your food, go ahead and add a little chili oil, chili flakes or even sriracha to the sauce to taste! This dish can take it! 

Traditionally this dish is made with Chinese eggplant, but it can be a little tricky to find them in a mainstream grocery store. You can use regular globe eggplant if that’s all you can find. In this recipe, we recommend peeling the globe eggplant. Read more about different varieties of eggplant here!

Another technique to help remove the bitterness from the eggplant is called brining. Learn more about this technique here.


Whisk all the sauce ingredients together in a bowl and set aside. 

Peel and chop the eggplant into large bite-sized pieces. Season the eggplant with sea salt on all sides and allow it to rest for 15 minutes on some clean paper towels. After 15 minutes, press the top of the eggplant with a clean paper towel to remove the liquid that has sweated out of the flesh. Rinse the eggplant pieces to remove the salt. This step will help remove any bitter flavor.

Heat the vegetable oil in a large pan and add the eggplant pieces. Sear the eggplant until both sides are browned and the eggplant is tender. Add the garlic, ginger and scallions to the pan and sauté for a few more minutes. 

Add the sauce to the pan and stir until all the eggplant is well coated. Bring the sauce to a simmer and cook for about 2-3 minutes until the sauce has thickened. Remove the eggplant mixture from the heat and transfer to a serving dish.

Serve the eggplant with some cooked rice, garnished with scallions and sesame seeds. Serve with chopped chiles if desired for a little kick!

Alternatives & Substitutions

  • Instead of eggplant, tofu can be substituted for a high protein vegan meal. 

  • Try making this dish with Lo Mein noodles instead of rice! 

  • Serve with our Spicy Tofu Steaks for a vegan Chinese feast!

  • Meat eaters: Try using Chinese Five Spice in our Five Spice Chicken Wings or Five Spice Pork Bowls.

  • Be sure to leave comments and feedback on your meals and experiments in the comments for others to read.

  • Post pictures of your masterpiece meal on social media and tag us. We repost!

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