Kylie Kwong's stir-fried eggplant with chilli and ginger

Kylie Kwong's stir-fried eggplant with red chillies and ginger.
Kylie Kwong's stir-fried eggplant with red chillies and ginger. Photo: William Meppem

We Chinese cooks love to prepare eggplant in many different ways: braised, pickled, steamed, grilled, smoked, roasted or simply stir-fried, as in this recipe. Roughly sliced regular eggplants are fine to use instead of Japanese eggplants.


400g Japanese eggplants 

3 tbsp peanut oil

5cm piece ginger, finely sliced

3 garlic cloves, roughly crushed

¼ cup shao hsing wine

1 tbsp brown sugar

2 tbsp malt vinegar

1 tbsp light soy sauce

1 tsp sesame oil

1 large red chilli, finely sliced lengthways


1. Remove stems from eggplants and cut into one-centimetre slices on the diagonal.

2. Heat two tablespoons of the peanut oil in a hot wok until the surface seems to shimmer slightly. Add eggplant and stir-fry for about 2½ minutes, being careful not to let it burn.

3. Add remaining peanut oil to wok with ginger and garlic and stir-fry for one minute.

4. Add shao hsing wine and sugar and stir-fry for one minute. Add remaining ingredients and stir-fry for a further minute. Serve immediately.

This rich and intensely flavoured dish makes a great accompaniment to a more delicately flavoured dish such as steamed snapper with ginger and shallots, or alongside fried rice for a simple and quick meal. You can substitute a splash of leftover red or white wine for the shao hsing – a hint of alcohol adds depth and character.