Steamed eggplant with chilli and garlic

Steamed eggplant with chilli and garlic.
Steamed eggplant with chilli and garlic. Photo: William Meppem

A vegan-friendly recipe for a Chinese banquet with a sharp dressing that goes beautifully with tofu, chicken and seafood, too.


1 large eggplant

1 tbsp finely sliced spring onions

1 large red chilli, finely sliced

pinch of ground white pepper

Chilli and garlic dressing

¼ cup malt vinegar

2 tbsp shao hsing wine or dry sherry

3 garlic cloves, finely diced

1 tbsp brown sugar

1 tbsp light soy sauce

½ tsp sesame oil


1. Peel the eggplant and cut eggplant lengthways into 1.5cm slices, then cut each slice into 1.5cm strips.

2. Meanwhile, to make the chilli and garlic dressing by placing the dressing all ingredients in a small heavy-based saucepan and bringing to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for 2 minutes or until slightly reduced, then set aside.

3. Arrange eggplant in one layer on a heatproof plate that will fit inside a steamer basket. Place plate inside steamer, position over a deep saucepan or wok of boiling water and steam, covered, for 6 minutes or until eggplant is just tender when pierced with a knife. Carefully remove plate from steamer and allow eggplant to cool slightly.

4. To serve, arrange eggplant on a platter and spoon over reserved dressing. Sprinkle with sliced spring onions and chilli and pepper. 

Goes with Kylie Kwong's poached chicken