There is chicken stir-fry, there is vegetable stir-fry, and then there is eggplant stir-fry! Many of us go as far as carrots and bell peppers when it comes to a stir-fry, but not many think about adding eggplant to the dish. So, for all those who love eggplant or stir-fry, this unique eggplant stir-fry recipe is just for you! Check out Japchae (Korean Stir-Fry Noodles), and Stir-Fried Burdock Root.
What Is Eggplant Stir-Fry?
When you hear the word stir-fry, the first thing that comes to your mind would be Chinese. And why not! It is an authentic Chinese concept. A stir-fry is actually a cooking technique that has been used in Chinese cuisine since ancient times. The technique is about the cooking of sauteing ingredients in oil at a high flame in a wok. This way, the ingredients are glossy and cooked to perfection.
So when we say eggplant stir-fry, it clearly means cooking eggplant using the traditional Chinese technique. However, eggplant is a tough vegetable, and to save time and for added convenience, we are going to cook it beforehand and then combine it with other ingredients in a wok or skillet.
Will Eggplants Taste Bitter In A Stir-Fry?
Now the reason most people don’t like eggplant is because of its bitter flavor. However, because of the many benefits of this vegetable, we all should incorporate it into our daily life. Upon cooking, eggplant has a creamy and rich texture. So, if you worry about the dish tasting bitter due t the eggplants, here is a technique that will help you get rid of the bitterness.
Now, once you have diced the eggplant, place it is cold, salted water for about 20 to 30 minutes. This way, when the bitterness of the eggplant is gone. Take the eggplant out of the water, place it on a paper towel, and let it dry. Discard the water.
What To Look For When Buying Eggplants?
Now, eggplants come in various sizes, so which one should you get? To help you out, here are a few things you must keep in mind when buying eggplants:
- First of all, look at its appearance. Eggplants have a beautiful purple color and have glossy skin. So that’s what you should look for. Choose an eggplant that has glossy and shiny skin and is without any brown spot.
- Secondly, you have to check if it’s ripe or not. For that, you have to press your thumb lightly on its skin. If it leaves a print, it means the eggplant is ripe and ready to be cooked.
- Lastly, when it comes to size, you will find eggplants of all sizes. Now you might get greedy and buy a larger one, because it will have more pulp but beware, it’s not the case. With the pulp, you will get bitterness and seeds as well. So, if you want the eggplants to be less bitter or sweet, choose the ones that are smaller in size. Smaller eggplants not only are sweet but also have fewer seeds. Furthermore, these are easy to cook, as well.
How To Cook Eggplants For Stir Fry?
Now traditionally, people deep fry the diced eggplant. Although it results in crispy eggplant you get oil as a byproduct.
Well, there are several ways you can cook an eggplant. You can deep fry it, bake it or even air-fry it. But, what’s the healthy way of cooking an eggplant? Most people live to deep fry it, but that required a lot of oil. So, a big no.
I like to bake my eggplants because it is a better option. It is convenient, and the eggplants are nice, golden brown, and well cooked. For that, you have to place eggplants in a large bowl, pour olive oil, and season with salt and black pepper. Mix everything and place it on a baking tray. Bake for about 20 minutes at 425-degree F to get them perfectly cooked eggplant.
Furthermore, you can also air fry diced eggplants. Air-frying takes less time and results in perfectly cooked eggplants.
This recipe is super simple, and all the ingredients are readily available at the grocery store. Here is everything you will need:
- Eggplants: It’s the main ingredient of the dish. Bake them beforehand, so they are nice and cooked.
- Vegetables: I love to use onions, carrots, and bell peppers for this recipe. They bring texture, flavor as well as color to the dish.
- Seasoning: I like to keep things simple so that I enjoy the true flavors of vegetables in the stir-fry. So, I use salt and pepper only.
- Dried chilies: to bring in the heat, I use dried red chilies. They not just make it spicy but also adds flavor and color to the dish.
- Tamari: tamari is the Japanese version of soy sauce. It is made from fermenting soybeans. It is darker in color, is less salty, and far richer than a regular soy sauce. It is the ingredient that brings umami flavor to the dish, and you won’t need anything else after this.
How To Make Eggplant Stir-Dry?
Now making eggplant stir-fry is super easy. All you have to do is follow the steps mentioned below:
Step 1: Dice the eggplants, soak them in saltwater. Drain and pat dry. Combine it with olive oil, salt and pepper and bake for 30 minutes at 425 degrees F.
Step 2: In a wok, heat oil, add onions, garlic, red chilis, bell peppers, and carrots. Sautee for about 5 minutes until the carrot is soft.
Step 3: Pour in tamari and continue to cook for 2 to 3 minutes.
Step 4: Next, add baked eggplant and mix well so that the sauce coats the eggplant as well.
Step 5: turn off the heat and serve.
Other Eggplant Recipes
- Eggplant In Garlic Sauce
- Vegan Eggplant Parmesan
- Vegan Stuffed Eggplant
- Baby Eggplant Coconut Curry
How To Store Eggplant Stir-Fry?
Storing eggplant stir-fry is straightforward. All you have to do is place it in an airtight container and store it in the refrigerator. It stays fresh for up to 5 days. So, you can prepare it in advance and eat it during the week. Furthermore, you can also store baked eggplants for as long as 3 days in the refrigerator. So, when you feel like eating the stir-fry, you can use the baked eggplants to make stir-fry.
How To Serve Eggplant Stir-Fry?
Well, honestly, I love to eat eggplant stir-fry as it is. But, you can serve it alongside several other things as well. Here are a few ideas:
- Rice: Serve it alongside garlic rice. It is the best pair ever. Furthermore, you can also try it with coconut rice. The unique, slightly sweet flavor of coconut rice will really compliment the eggplant stir-fry.
- Noodles: Rice noodles go perfectly well with eggplant stir-fry.
- Flatbread: Believe it or not, you can also serve it with flatbread. It tastes really nice.
- Tortilla: How about you make a burrito out of the eggplant? Get creative and try it! I am sure you will love it. Plus, this will make it a perfect lunch idea.
Now, let us not wait any further; read head for this easy, vegan, and gluten-free eggplant recipe.
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- Energy: 260 kcal / 1087 kJ
- Fat: 13.4 g
- Protein: 7 g
- Carbs: 34.3 g
- Preparation: 10 min
- Cooking: 40 min
- Ready in: 50 min
- For: 4 Servings
- 1 large eggplants, diced
- 1/4 cup olive oil, or 1/2 cup vegetable broth for sauteing veggies
- 1 medium onions, sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
- 1 medium red bell pepper, sliced
- 1 medium green bell pepper, sliced
- 2 small dried chilies halved, or 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper powder
- 2 tablespoons Tamari, or Bragg's Liquid Aminos
- 1 teaspoon black pepper, optional
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, or season to taste
- Cut the eggplants into 1-inch cubes and place them in a large bowl.
- Add ¼ cup olive oil, salt, and pepper and mix well.
- Place the eggplant on the baking tray evenly and place it in a preheated oven at 425 degrees F for 30 minutes. Flip the eggplant when it is halfway cooked.
- In the meanwhile, heat oil in a large skillet.
- Add onions, garlic, carrots, bell peppers, and dried chilies.
- Saute for 3 to 5 minutes until the carrots start getting soft.
- Next, add tamari and continue to cook for 3 to 4 minutes.
- Add baked eggplant, and stir for a minute or so until every ingredient is well combined.