Healthy Vegetarian Fried Eggplant

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Delicious fried aubergine

Delicious fried eggplant

I love to eat eggplant, also called aubergine or brinjal. We grew up eating a lot of this lovely vegetable because my parents used to plant a lot of them in the vegetable garden. I love the way my mom used to cook it….saltish, sweet and a little spicy. It goes great with just plain rice. I could eat just that and rice alone and I would be a very happy girl.

These few days there seems to be quite a lot of mentions about this special vegetable, eggplant. A few friends have been talking about it. When I went with my friend to supermaket the other day, she bought one. When I went there the day before, a big box of beautiful eggplants caught my eyes. It somehow stood out among the rest. Could I have been thinking too much? Anyway, I couldn’t resist the temptation so I bought 2 and cooked for dinner yesterday. I just love it. It was really good, so did my daughter say too. It’s simple, easy and quick to cook this healthy Chinese dish. It is a delicious vegetarian dish. Here’s my recipe to share:

Ingredients A
2 eggplants



Cut the eggplants into cubes and then soak them in a basin of water. I’m not sure why I have to soak but my mum always told us to soak them in water for about 30 minutes before cooking. Just how interesting it is that we always follow what our mom did without knowing the reason why!

Frying aubergine

Frying eggplant

Well fried eggplant

Well fried eggplant

Heat up some oil in a wide based frying pan. Add in the diced eggplant and fry until it’s browned, soft and smells fragrant. Dish it up with a slotted spatula onto a plate lined with kitchen towels to soak away some of the oil. Don’t throw away the oil in the frying pan. Pour in the garlic and onions and fry until fragrant.

Ingredients B
1 whole garlic (peel and mince)
2 purple onions (peel and dice it fine)

Fry the garlic and onions

Fry the garlic and onions

Fry until fragrant

Fry until fragrant

Add the minced garlic and diced purple onions to the pan and fry until fragrant.

Ingredients C
3T soya light sauce
4T sweet chili sauce
1/2 T sesame oil

Lovely sauce

Lovely sauce

Mix everything together in a small bowl

Add in the sauce

Add in the sauce

Pour back the eggplant into the frying pan and add in the sauce. Stir through and mix well. Dish it up onto a plate and serve hot. It goes great with plain rice.

Do you like eggplant? How do you cook it? Please share, add and comment in the comment box below.

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Divina  on September 17th, 2009

My mom loves eggplant. Now I have a new eggplant dish to try. I will use those Japanese eggplants or maybe even the smaller round eggplants that come in oblong and round sizes. There’s also soy sauce in the dish the we make at home but with ginger, garlic, rice vinegar and sugar, and garnish with sesame oil. I have to try this anytime this week. I don’t know why your mom soaks the eggplant in water. I know that sometimes they are salted to remove the bitterness but it all depends on the eggplant. My guess is to prevent the eggplant from soaking up too much oil. But I could be wrong. But there must be an explanation.

Mary  on September 17th, 2009

Divina, thanks for dropping by and leaving commments. I’m sure with ginger and rice vinegar will make it taste even better. I’ll add that next time. I wonder why I never asked my mom why she always soaked the eggplant…hmmm. I must ask her next time. Agree with you, there must be an explanation.

penny aka jeroxie  on September 17th, 2009

I love cooking eggplant as well. It is like a foolproof vege. Not afraid to overcook it at all. And it absorbs the seasonings and have this lovely soft yummy texture.

Snoop  on September 17th, 2009

One of my favourite and easiest ways of preparing aubergine is to dredge slices in flour (seasoned if you want) and then dip in beaten egg and shallow fry in oil till brown and slightly puffed up. Not Asian I’m afraid, more Mediterranean. Delicious as a snack or side dish. You could make a spicy sauce to accompany the fritters if they seem a bit bland.

Mary  on September 17th, 2009

Jerokie and Snoop, thanks very much for your comment and suggestion. Snoop, I’ll try your way next time. Sounds really good. I’m realy glad to be learning so much from all of you. Food blogging really brings many benefits.

Almost Slowfood  on September 17th, 2009

Yum. I love the idea of eggplants in a sweet, sour and salty sauce.

Christine  on September 18th, 2009

Your dish of fried eggplant look awesome too. Our family also grew up with lots of eggplants to eat.
My father-in-law said there are more women like eating eggplants than men. I don’t know whether he’s right or not. But I found all women in my family like eating eggplants.

Mary  on September 18th, 2009

Almost Slowfood, thanks for your comments. Hope you’ll give a try with this recipe. It’s good. I love it.

Christine, thanks for sharing. Well, my 2 daughters and my husband don’t like eggplant. My children must have got it from the father’s genes!So, I have no one to fight with me for it…enjoy it all alone…haha.

Oh, a friend told me yesterday that his grandma advised not to eat too much eggplant because it’s not too good for the eyes. Whether it’s true or not, I’m considering. Prevention is better than cure. The best is to eat everything in moderation.

Pinggang  on September 18th, 2009

My whole family like to eat eggplants. I never cooked eggplant with onions, but I think it is certainly a good idea. Also interested to know the Mediterranean style cooking. Thanks Snoop for sharing this and I will give it a try at some point.

Mary  on September 18th, 2009

Hi, Pinggang, thanks for dropping by and leaving comments. I love to add in lots of onions and garlic to my cooking, not only for flavour but also for health. I’ll soon be cooking another baked version of eggplant intoduced by a foodie friend…no frying and no oily kitchen to clean up. I love simple, easy and quick cooking while little cleaning up to do.

Charlie  on September 18th, 2009

Hi, Ugh, I liked! So clear and delicious.

Jackie at  on September 19th, 2009

It sounds like the dish I get from my local Chinese restaurant. Yum!

Mary  on September 19th, 2009

@Charlie - Thanks for your comments. Hope you try it out soon.

@Jackie - Thanks for your comments. Try it and let me know. Lovely to know you also like eggplant.

Sherrie  on September 21st, 2009

I’ve never liked eating eggplant but it’s perhaps because of how it was cooked when I previously tried it. I was skeptical of this recipe but thought I should be adventurous and try cooking something new. And you know what? It was absolutely delicious. I love spicy food so I added in some chilli oil for extra spice. Thanks for changing my mind about eggplant!

Mary  on September 30th, 2009

@Sherrie - Thanks for sharing. I’m really glad to hear that you have tried and liked eggplants now. Now I’m wondering how to make my hubby eat this delicious dish. Maybe I should make it spicy like you did as he loves spicy food.

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