Stir-frying Japanese eggplant with lots of garlic, fresh ginger, and soy sauce is one of my favorite Asian dishes. So simple, yet packed with flavor and texture. I am a big fan of the long slender Japanese (also called Chinese) eggplant. They are less bitter and have a slightly sweeter taste than their Italian counterpart, and because they have a thin skin, and sponge-like flesh, they quickly absorb flavors. Plus there’s no need to peel or salt them ahead of time—a real bonus in my book!
1 1/2 to 2 lb. Japanese or Chinese eggplant (4 to 6)
1 Tbs. cornstarch
3 Tbs. peanut or vegetable oil, plus more as needed
2 Tbs. Asian (toasted) sesame oil
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbs. minced fresh ginger
2 Tbs. low-sodium soy sauce, plus more as needed
Sliced scallions or microgreens, for garnish
Slice the eggplant on the diagonal 3/4 to 1 inch thick, larger pieces cut in half lengthwise. Transfer the eggplant slices to a medium bowl, sprinkle with the cornstarch, and toss to coat evenly. Heat the oil in a 12-inch skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Add just enough eggplant to create a single layer so that no slices overlap. Cook, flipping once, until the eggplant is golden and a bit charred in places, 2-1/2 to 3 minutes total. Transfer the eggplant to a paper-towel-lined rimmed baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining eggplant, adding more oil to the pan as needed.
Wipe the pan clean, then add the sesame oil over low heat. Add the garlic and ginger, and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 20 seconds. Return the eggplant to the pan. Add the soy sauce, and toss to combine, about 1 minute. Serve topped with the scallion, and season to taste with more soy sauce.
Keywords: stir-fried eggplant, Japanese eggplant