Spicy Chinese Eggplant And Mushroom Stir-Fry Recipe

If your weeknights are busy, stir-fries can be your best friend, offering a delicious and healthy meal that comes together quickly. There are many types of eggplant, and in this recipe, we are featuring Chinese eggplant, which has a delicate taste and is inclined to soak up the sauce it's cooked with, making it extra savory and flavorful. Plus, the skin is thinner, so there is no need to peel it — another time saver. To make this meal veggie-packed, we've also included onion, red pepper, mushrooms, garlic, and ginger, and you can easily bulk this meal up with added protein, if desired.

Wellness coach and recipe developer Miriam Hahn brings us this recipe and says, "If you have other vegetables on hand, you can feel free to throw them into the mix. Broccoli, carrots, zucchini, bok choy, and cabbage are all delicious in this recipe." Keep reading to learn how to sizzle up this delicious vegetable stir-fry!

Gather the ingredients for spicy Chinese eggplant stir-fry

To make this recipe, start in the produce aisle and pick up Chinese eggplant, red bell pepper, onion, garlic, ginger root, serrano peppers, and mushrooms. If you want to tame the spiciness, use one serrano or opt for a jalapeño instead. Then, hit up your condiment cabinet for salt, soy sauce, oyster sauce, rice vinegar, maple syrup, cornstarch, and avocado oil. To make this recipe vegetarian and vegan, look for vegan oyster sauce.

Step 1: Salt the eggplant

Put the eggplant and salt in a colander and let sit in the sink for 20 minutes to draw out the moisture.

Step 2: Combine the sauce ingredients

In the meantime, in a small pot, combine the soy sauce, oyster sauce, rice vinegar, and maple syrup. Set aside.

Step 3: Make the cornstarch slurry

In a small bowl, combine the cornstarch with 3 tablespoons cold water. Set it aside.

Step 4: Dry the eggplant

When the eggplant is done draining, lay it out on a clean dishtowel or paper towels and dry it well.

Step 5: Add oil to a pan

Add 1 tablespoon oil to a large frying pan and bring the heat to medium-high.

Step 6: Cook the eggplant

Add the eggplant to the pan in a single layer and cook for 3 minutes before stirring. Give the eggplant a stir and cook for 3 more minutes.

Step 7: Remove the eggplant from the pan

Remove the eggplant from the pan and set aside.

Step 8: Add more oil to the pan

Add the remaining oil back to the same pan, keeping the heat at medium-high.

Step 9: Cook the other ingredients

Add the red pepper, onion, garlic, ginger, serrano peppers, and mushrooms. Cook and stir for about 12 minutes, until the vegetables are soft and browned.

Step 10: Finish making the sauce

Meanwhile, place the pot of sauce on medium heat for 3 minutes, then stir in the cornstarch slurry and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes, until the sauce thickens.

Step 11: Add the eggplant back in

Add the eggplant and the sauce to the frying pan and stir to combine everything.

Step 12: Garnish and serve

Garnish with chopped parsley, if desired, then serve the Chinese eggplant stir-fry.

Spicy Chinese Eggplant and Mushroom Stir-Fry Recipe
No Ratings
With tender Chinese eggplant and mushrooms coated in a spicy stir-fry sauce, this vegetable dish is simple to make and is packed with nutrition and flavor.
Prep Time
30
minutes
Cook Time
18
minutes
Servings
4
servings
small bowl of stir-fry
Total time: 48 minutes
Ingredients
  • 2 Chinese eggplants, chopped (about 4 cups)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons oyster sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons avocado oil, divided
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • ½ onion, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 1 inch ginger root, grated
  • 2 serrano peppers, diced and seeds discarded
  • 2 cups sliced mushrooms
Optional Ingredients
  • Cooked rice
  • Chopped parsley
Directions
  1. Put the eggplant and salt in a colander and let sit in the sink for 20 minutes to draw out the moisture.
  2. In the meantime, in a small pot, combine the soy sauce, oyster sauce, rice vinegar, and maple syrup. Set aside.
  3. In a small bowl, combine the cornstarch with 3 tablespoons cold water. Set it aside.
  4. When the eggplant is done draining, lay it out on a clean dishtowel or paper towels and dry it well.
  5. Add 1 tablespoon oil to a large frying pan and bring the heat to medium-high.
  6. Add the eggplant to the pan in a single layer and cook for 3 minutes before stirring. Give the eggplant a stir and cook for 3 more minutes.
  7. Remove the eggplant from the pan and set aside.
  8. Add the remaining oil back to the same pan, keeping the heat at medium-high.
  9. Add the red pepper, onion, garlic, ginger, serrano peppers, and mushrooms. Cook and stir for about 12 minutes, until the vegetables are soft and browned.
  10. Meanwhile, place the pot of sauce on medium heat for 3 minutes, then stir in the cornstarch slurry and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes, until the sauce thickens.
  11. Add the eggplant and the sauce to the frying pan and stir to combine everything.
  12. Garnish with chopped parsley, if desired, then serve the Chinese eggplant stir-fry.
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Can I use a different type of eggplant in this stir-fry?

You can feel free to swap in another type of eggplant, but there are a few things to note if you do. One of the eggplant varieties that is very close to the Chinese type is Japanese eggplant. It is slightly thinner than Chinese eggplant and much darker in color. The flavor is the same and because the skin is also thin, there is no need to peel it.

Globe eggplant is large in size and has a thick skin, so it will need to be peeled. The taste might be slightly more bitter, so you'll want to salt it and let it sit longer in the colander, for at least 30 minutes. Italian eggplant is slightly smaller than globe eggplant, but still will need to sit with the salt on longer and will also need to be peeled.

When buying any type of eggplant, look for smooth and shiny skin that is free of wrinkles. You'll also want one that is firm to the touch with a slight give. If it is too soft, it might be over ripe. If you buy your eggplant ahead of time, they will last up to 2 days if kept on the counter and up to 5 days if stored in the refrigerator.

How would I add protein to this vegetable stir-fry?

The stir-fry is versatile, and you can easily add in a protein source to make the meal more filling.

If you're looking for a vegetarian option, then tofu is a good addition. Pick up some super firm tofu, remove it from the package, and cut it into cubes. "My go-to way to make tofu is to put the cubes into a resealable back and shake on some avocado oil, soy sauce, and sesame seeds. Then, drop it into a non-stick skillet that has been heated to medium and cook it for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally," Hahn says. "Remove it from the pan and just add it back in after the recipe steps have been completed." Another vegetarian option is shelled edamame beans. Whether using fresh or frozen, just add them to the stir-fry when you add back in the cooked eggplant, and let them heat through for a few minutes. 

To add chicken or shrimp, stir-fry them in a hot pan while the eggplant is draining, and then add them back in at the end with the cooked eggplant. A flavorful grilled shrimp also work well with this recipe, either added into the stir-fry or served on the side.