Cook/ Easy Weeknight

Roasted Baby Eggplant (Aubergine) with Stir Fry Sauce

February 19, 2020

Last Updated on February 19, 2020 by Slow The Cook Down

Roasted baby eggplant is a simple vegetarian Chinese stir fried dish that comes together quickly for an easy weeknight meal. Made with a spicy sriracha, garlic and soy sauce dressing, the eggplant can be served as a side dish or as a main. Ready in 30 minutes and easily made vegan. 

Stir fried baby eggplant in a frying pan

I did a few days work on a TV food shoot a couple of weeks ago and, as is always, there was a tonne of leftover food at the end, so the crew ran to grab what they could. I ended up with a few treats including a load of baby eggplant so I quickly set about working up this dish to share with you all. 

This roasted and stir fried Chinese dish is so god damn easy to make but the flavors are out of this world! Sir fries are such quick and easy meals to make and if you want more be sure to check out my Marinated Beef Stir Fry with Rainbow Vegetables.

This dish is great served up as a main with oodles of noodles or rice, or you can serve it as a side dish along with Pak Choi with Garlic & Chilli and other veggie and meat dishes for a real Chinese feast.

How To Make Stir Fried Roasted Baby Eggplant

First up you need to roast the eggplant which will take about 20 minutes…

  1. Cut the tops off of the eggplant, cut them in half and place cut side up on a baking sheet.
  2. Mix the honey, oil and seasonings together in a small bowl.
  3. Brush the cut sides of the eggplant with the honey an oil mixture.
  4. Place in the oven for 20 minutes until they are soft.Four shots to show how to roast the eggplant
  5. While the eggplants are roasting, mix together the ingredients for the stir fry sauce.
  6. Add the roasted eggplants and sauce to a hot skillet or wok.
  7. Cook for 5 minutes until the sauce has thickened and serve.

Process shots to show how to stir fry the eggplant

Can you use regular eggplant in this recipe?

If you aren’t as lucky as me as to have picked up a big batch of baby eggplant, you can use a regular one. The baby variety have a more intense flavor and the flesh is way more tender, so, if you can, do opt for the smaller variety. If you use a regular sized eggplant, cut it in half and then cut it into slices so that they are bite sized.

Do you need to salt the baby eggplant before you cook it?

A lot of time when recipes call for eggplant, they tell you to salt it first. This is because they have a high water content, so the theory is, is that they become soggy when you cook them and the salt helps to draw that water out.

However, I’ve found when roasting or baking eggplant (like in my Stuffed Eggplant Recipe) there is no need to salt them. The heat from the oven removes the excess water and the salting process really doesn’t have much of an effect.

How do you make a Chinese stir fry sauce?

It’s really quick and easy to make a simple stir fry sauce. It works really well with the baby eggplant, but you can also use it for a lot of other stir fry dishes, whether beef, chicken, tofu or other vegetables. The sauce is a perfect balance of sweet, salty, umami and spice. The ingredients to make this flavorful sauce are:

  • Soy sauce: Soy sauce has a predominantly salty flavor with umami flavors and is a staple in a lot of Chinese sauces.
  • Red wine vinegar: Vinegar adds acid and tang to the sauce, you ca substitute red wine vinegar for apple cider or white wine vinegar.
  • Sriracha: The sriracha brings a little heat to the dish. If you are sensitive to spicy foods you can half or omit this.
  • Brown sugar: Brown sugar adds a complex sweetness to the sauce, if you are in a pinch you can substitute this for white sugar.
  • Corn starch: Corn starch (in the UK it is cornflour) helps the sauce to thicken up when you add it to the hot pan.
  • Ginger and garlic: Staples in Chinese cooking that add flavor and aroma. Use fresh garlic and ginger that you have chopped very very finely (minced) for the best flavors.
  • Stock: I used vegetable stock to keep this dish vegetarian, but you can use chicken or beef. If you don’t have stock you can use water but it won’t be as flavorful.

Roasted eggplant in two bowls on a wooden chopping board

Can you eat the skin of baby eggplants?

Because these small eggplants are younger, their skin is much more tender so easy to eat, it also contains a lot of nutrients. Larger eggplants can have tougher skin that is harder to eat so can sometimes require peeling. The skin also helps the eggplant to hold it’s shape when you cook it, so no need to peel them.

Serve Chinese baby eggplant as a side dish or easy main 

This roasted baby eggplant is perfect to serve as a side dish alongside a main Chinese dish like Kung Pao or a sweet and sour dish. It can also be served on top of noodles or rice as a main. If you are serving a larger crowd, you can easily add grilled chicken or other vegetables to make it go further.

Tips To Make Roasted Baby Eggplant In Chinese Stir Fry Sauce

  1. To make this dish vegan, substitute the honey for maple syrup.
  2. This dish is best served as soon as it is made. If you wish, you can roast the baby eggplant up to 24 hours before you cook it with the sauce. Let it cool completely to room temperature and keep in an air tight container in the fridge.
  3. If you do have leftovers, they will keep for 3-4 days covered in the fridge and can be reheated on the stovetop to serve.
  4. Cook the eggplant and the sauce in a large frying pan or wok on a high heat and stir it continuously so that it cooks evenly and nothing burns.
  5. You can reduce the salt in this recipe by using a low sodium soy sauce and stock.

Baby eggplant in a large bowl served with noodles

More 30 minute easy weeknight meals:

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Baby eggplant with noodles in two white bowls

Roasted Baby Eggplant with Stir Fry Sauce

Roasted baby eggplant is a simple vegetarian Chinese stir fried dish that comes together quickly for an easy weeknight meal. Easily made vegan.
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine: Chinese
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 2 to 4 servings
Calories: 363kcal

Ingredients

To roast the eggplant

  • 12 baby eggplants
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon honey or maple syrup for a vegan version
  • pinch pepper
  • pinch chili powder

For the stir fry sauce

  • 4 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sriracha
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons corn starch
  • 1 tablespoon minced ginger
  • 1/2 cup vegetable stock or beef or chicken
  • 2 garlic cloves minced

Instructions

  • Pre heat the oven to 430ºf / 220ºc
  • Cut the tops off of the eggplants to remove the stem and leaves. Cut the eggplants in half and place cut side up on a baking sheet.
  • Mix the olive oil and honey together in a small bowl and add a pinch of salt, pepper and chili powder and combine.
  • Brush the honey mixture over the cut side of the eggplants and place in the pre heated oven for 20 minutes until they are soft.
  • While the eggplants are roasting, mix all of the ingredients for the sauce together in a jug.
  • Heat a large skillet or wok on a high heat on the stove top and pour over the stir fry sauce.
  • Cook for 3 to 5 minutes, while stirring, until the sauce has thickened. Serve.

Notes

  1. To make this dish vegan, substitute the honey for maple syrup.
  2. This dish is best served as soon as it is made. If you wish, you can roast the baby eggplant up to 24 hours before you cook it with the sauce. Let it cool completely to room temperature and keep in an air tight container in the fridge.
  3. If you do have leftovers, they will keep for 3-4 days covered in the fridge and can be reheated on the stovetop to serve.
  4. Cook the eggplant and the sauce in a large frying pan or wok on a high heat and stir it continuously so that it cooks evenly and nothing burns.
  5. You can reduce the salt in this recipe by using a low sodium soy sauce and stock.

Nutrition

Calories: 363kcal | Carbohydrates: 40g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Sodium: 2429mg | Potassium: 855mg | Fiber: 10g | Sugar: 28g | Vitamin A: 203IU | Vitamin C: 13mg | Calcium: 43mg | Iron: 2mg
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1 Comment

  • Reply
    Healthy World Cuisine
    March 19, 2020 at 2:53 pm

    5 stars
    Fantastic easy meatless meal idea. We love Asian eggplants as they are mild and have less seeds. Roasting them is such a brilliant idea as they get that caramelized flavor. Delicious!

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