Szechuan Eggplant in Garlic Sauce (Vegan, Gluten-Free)

Szechuan Eggplant in Garlic Sauce (Vegan, Gluten-Free)
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Szechuan Eggplant in Garlic Sauce (Vegan, Gluten-Free) is a flavorful version of the popular Chinese eggplant with garlic sauce, plump and flavorful eggplant sauteed and cooked in a flavorful garlic sauce. Serve with rice or noodles.

Szechuan Eggplant in Garlic Sauce


Szechuan Eggplant in Garlic Sauce (Vegan, Gluten-Free) is my version of the famous Chinese dish also known as ‘eggplant in Chinese hot garlic sauce’. Traditionally, Szechuan Eggplant is prepared by deep frying the eggplant strips,

The eggplant strips are sauteed in oil instead and molasses is added for color, resulting in a deep-fried look. Then tapioca starch mixed with water and thickened adds a glossy, oily look.

Szechuan Eggplant in Garlic Sauce (Vegan, Gluten-Free) recipe goes well with my Pineapple Fried Rice, Peanut Noodles With Tofu, or Pancit Bihon (Filipino Noodle Stir Fry).

Szechuan Eggplant in Garlic Sauce (Vegan, Gluten-Free)

To Make Szechuan Eggplant in Garlic Sauce (Vegan, Gluten-Free)

The preferred eggplant to use in this dish is long and thin Asian eggplants that are sold in the Oriental markets, but you can use regular globe variety.

To prepare the eggplant, cut the top of the eggplant and discard. Cut eggplant into strips lengthwise, sprinkle eggplant strips with salt, allow to sweat for about 30 minutes. Drain liquid and use a paper towel to pat dry.

Saute eggplant strips in oil in a heated skillet on medium high until brown. Add garlic, ginger, green onion, bell pepper. Mix sauce ingredients and tapioca starch slurry. Stir eggplant with the saute veggies, pour sauce ingredients and tapioca starch slurry over eggplant and veggies. Cook on medium-high until thickened.

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Per portion
217 kcal / 907 kJ
10 g
5 g
30 g


For: 4 Servings

For The Sauce

For The Eggplant

5 min
15 min
Ready in:
23 min


  1. Prepare sauce by combining water, sesame oil, sugar, lemon juice, soy sauce, molasses in a bowl. Mix tapioca starch with water in another bowl and set aside.

  2. To prepare the eggplant, cut the top of the eggplant and discard. Cut eggplant into strips lengthwise, sprinkle eggplant strips with salt, allow to sweat for about 30 minutes. Drain liquid and use a paper towel to pat dry. 

  3.  Heat oil in a large skillet or wok on medium-high heat, saute eggplant strips until golden brown (may need extra oil) Remove eggplant strips and set aside.

  4. Add garlic, ginger, green onions and bell pepper, saute until fragrant

  5. Add eggplant strips and prepared sauce and cook stirring for about 1 minute until thickened.

  6. Add tapioca starch mixture and cook until thickened.



Chef’s Tip: Eggplant strips make be pre-salted to enhance flavor and reduce bitterness. Be sure to use less Bragg’s liquid aminos or coconut aminos accordingly.

Please Leave a Comment and a Rating


  1. crafty
    April 29, 2018


    I made it tonight! It came out great! I think I just about doubled the amount of veggies (I overbought) and kept the sauce ingredients the same quantity, but it still came out fantastic! I wish I could share a picture! It looks just like take-out!

    • Michelle Blackwood
      April 29, 2018

      That’s awesome to know. Thank you so much for your feedback, love that you added extra veggies, yum!

  2. philly
    February 3, 2018

    I bought an eggplant..tried a while back didn’t like it ..never cooked it but i am going to try this recipe tomorrow. question do i peel the skin.

    • Michelle Blackwood
      February 5, 2018

      Hello Philly, you don’t need to peel the skin.

    • Philly
      February 21, 2018


      Finally made it👍🏽👍🏽…for someone who doesn’t like eggplant not bad… Husband loved it.

      • Michelle Blackwood
        February 21, 2018

        That’s wonderful to know Philly. So happy you loved it, I haven’t made it in awhile going to add eggplant to my shopping list.

  3. Shantavia
    July 31, 2016

    I saw this recipe and was so excited to try it. I did and It was awesome. I’ve been looking for a good garlic sauce for a while. This one exceeded my expectations. Great job Mrs. Blackwood! I love your cooking.

    • Michelle Blackwood
      July 31, 2016

      Thanks Shantavia for your feedback, I’m happy you enjoyed my recipes!

  4. mya.k
    March 5, 2016

    This looks so good, I want some of it right now.

  5. Chelsea L.
    March 3, 2016

    My household is trying to be a vegan, as our goal to be a healthy. But honestly I am running out of good recipes. I am so glad I cross with this post,

    • Michelle Blackwood
      March 14, 2016

      All the best Chelsea, I’m excited for you and your family. Please have fun in the journey!

  6. CourtneyLynne
    March 2, 2016

    Omg!!! This looks so yummy!!! I will definitely be giving this a try! Yum!

  7. Liz Mays
    March 2, 2016

    I’ve never had an eggplant dish I loved, but this looks like something I could really enjoy. I love spicy Chinese dishes!

  8. Emma White
    March 2, 2016

    oh wow this looks and sounds amazing think I will give it a try

  9. Rosey
    March 2, 2016

    My son makes a mean eggplant. I like the way it’s so versatile.

  10. Marielle Altenor
    March 1, 2016


    Eggplants is so delicious! I haven’t tried it in many different recipes though. Yours sounds really flavorful!

  11. Sabrina Fox
    March 1, 2016

    Oh my goodness! This looks super scrumptious. Thank you so much for sharing. I’m saving this recipe.

  12. Cecile
    March 1, 2016


    What a great vegan recipe! The sauce looks amazing.

  13. Terri Beavers
    March 1, 2016


    I love eggplant but, more importantly, is that my daughter who has to eat gluten-free products does as well. She pops in for lunch every day on her lunch break and trying to find new gluten free recipes with foods she likes can be challenging. I’m going to try this one.

  14. krystle cook
    March 1, 2016

    I’ve only ever had eggplant as eggplant parmesan. This is a great twist that I am sure I would love too.

  15. Michelle Blackwood
    March 1, 2016

    How about jackfruit, tofu or zucchini?

  16. Ana Fernandez
    March 1, 2016


    Just by looking at the picture I know this smell amazing!

  17. Eugenia
    March 1, 2016


    I am not a big fan of eggplants, but this photo looks so yummy! I would like to make it for my family!

  18. Elizabeth O.
    March 1, 2016

    It looks so flavorful. I love dishes like this, it’s definitely worth a try. Thanks for the recipe!

  19. Debbie Denny
    February 29, 2016

    I really need some eggplant recipes. I dont eat it often. Sounds and looks great,

  20. Laci
    February 29, 2016

    This looks amazing !! And I definitely love saucey food.

  21. Beth@FrugalFroggie
    February 29, 2016

    I don’t like eggplant but it does look like a good recipe.

  22. tara pittman
    February 29, 2016

    I have never had eggplant cooked this way. I bet the broth would give it great flavor.

  23. Ana De- Jesus
    February 29, 2016

    I am not a lover of egg plant but I will be stealing that delicious garlic sauce recipe!

  24. Carol Cassara
    February 29, 2016

    I have to pin this. My mouth is WATERING, it looks so delicious.

  25. Toni
    February 29, 2016

    Looks delicious!! I am happy that you too the deep frying out of the recipe too!

  26. Doran @ Haute Beauty Guide
    February 29, 2016

    YUM! I am totally going to make this soon!

  27. marianne
    February 29, 2016

    Do you have any substitute recommendations for eggplant? I don’t really care for it. But the sauce looks delicious!

    • Michelle Blackwood
      March 1, 2016

      How about zucchini?

  28. Michelle Gwynn Jones
    February 29, 2016

    I love making garlic sauce, you can put it with so many things.

  29. Robin Rue (@massholemommy)
    February 29, 2016

    That sounds so good. WOW. I can’t wait to make this.

  30. Loren
    February 28, 2016

    How many eggplants and what size do you need for this recipe please?
    Also, what ingredient makes this spicy hot?

    • Michelle Blackwood
      February 28, 2016

      Loren, I used 2 medium eggplants the ones found in Asian supermarkets, so about 1 large globe eggplant (regular kind) would be sufficient. To make it spicy hot add some chili or cayenne pepper!

  31. Tamal Singh
    February 26, 2016


    I am used to deep-fried version of this dish. However meal looks delicious, this should go well with some rice.
    This is another brilliant dish, thanks Michelle.

  32. Sami Fait
    February 26, 2016

    Omg how Interesting delicious! I am going grocery shopping this weekend and I will be adding these ingredients to my list!