6 Asian Eggplant Recipes

Authentic Asian Dishes Featuring Different Eggplant Varieties

An Old World vegetable with Asian origins, eggplant is thought to have been eaten both cooked and raw in China since at least the T'ang dynasty (established the year 618). Most of these recipes feature Chinese eggplant, a slender, thin-skinned purple variety that has a more delicate flavor than the large globe-shaped eggplants most often found in western supermarkets. One recipe calls for Thai eggplant--these small, golf-ball sized eggplants normally have a greenish-white skin. Japanese...MORE eggplant works best in the pan-fried eggplant with miso recipe, but you can substitute Chinese eggplant if needed.

  • 01 of 06
    Eggplant With Garlic Sauce
    Flickr CC 2.0

    The delicate flavor of Asian eggplant goes nicely with the pork, spices, and seasonings in this popular Szechuan recipe. The sauce ingredients include chili garlic sauce, bringing a bit of heat to the recipe. The step-by-step instructions help take some of the challenges out of frying eggplant, which can be tricky since this vegetable is so porous.

  • 02 of 06
    Spicy Szechuan Eggplant
    Flickr CC 2.0

    This is a variation of eggplant in garlic sauce (recipe above) using red rice vinegar and hot bean sauce. If you have trouble finding these ingredients, you can substitute red wine vinegar or balsamic vinegar for the red rice vinegar, and replace the hot bean sauce with Tabasco sauce--start small with 1 teaspoon Tabasco and then add more as desired.

  • 03 of 06
    Chinese cuisine, braised eggplant and minced pork
    Lars Ruecker / Getty Images

    In this recipe, the eggplant is cooked twice--first deep-fried and then stir-fried until tender in a sauce that includes oyster sauce, chili garlic sauce and the distinctive licorice flavor of Thai basil. The finished dish is garnished with mint leaves. This recipe comes from chef and cookbook author Martin Yan.

  • 04 of 06
    Selection of aubergines, striped Italian, medium round, small, white Italian, Violetta di Firenze, large purple
    William Reavell (c) Dorling Kindersley / Getty Images

    This Korean recipe consists of strips of eggplant that are quickly steamed and then tossed with a variety of spices and seasonings, including sesame oil, toasted sesame seeds, soy sauce and Korean red pepper flakes.

    Continue to 5 of 6 below.
  • 05 of 06
    Flickr CC 2.0

    In this recipe, pan-fried eggplant is sweetened with miso, the thick paste featured in numerous Japanese dishes. The rich sauce complements the soft texture of the eggplant, and the glaze is easy to prepare. 

  • 06 of 06
    Grilled eggplant miso sauce
    Laurence Mouton / Getty Images

    Garlicky and tender, Thai-style eggplant makes a great side dish or feature recipe on a vegetarian buffet. Chinese or Japanese eggplant is sliced thinly, marinated in a flavorful Thai sauce, and then grilled until tender and golden. You can also use the marinade as a sauce and add it at the end, or serve as a dip for the eggplant. The sauce is also excellent with rice.