Quick Chinese Eggplant Stir-Fry

Quick Chinese Eggplant Stir-Fry – Healthy, Plant-Based, Oil-Free, Gluten-Free, Vegan, Asian Dinner Recipe



Easy  |  Servings: 4  |  Ready In: 20 minutes |  Yield: about 4-5 cups

Long, slender Chinese eggplant cooks fast for this easy weeknight dinner.  Authentic Chinese flavor comes from ginger, garlic, and a kick from red chili.  If you crave bold Asian flavors, this gluten-free, oil-free vegan dinner is for you.  Serve with Oil-Free Quinoa Fried “Nice”5-Minute Adzuki Bean Salad with Oil-Free Asian Peanut Dressing, or enjoy over Black Forbidden Rice.


  • 4 Chinese eggplants (about 1.5 pounds), cut into 3/4-inch, half-moons
  • 1 bunch scallions (green onion), sliced 3-inches long, on a bias
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 red chili pepper, diced
  • 2 tablespoon ginger, minced
  • 3 pitted dates, minced
  • 1 tablespoon Chinese black vinegar (or balsamic)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon tamari
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds, to garnish

How it’s Done

To make the Quick Chinese Eggplant Stir-Fry: Preheat a wide sauté pan or wok over high heat.  Place the eggplant in a single layer in your preheated pan.  Let sear, without moving, for about 5 minutes.  You may need to work in two batches, depending on how wide your pan is. Be sure not to overcrowd the pan or the eggplant won’t brown properly. 
When the eggplant is well-charred on one side, flip and char on the second side, another 3-4 minutes.
Remove from the pan and return the pan to heat.

Add the scallions to the pan. Sauté until brown around the edges, 7-8 minutes.

Add the ginger, garlic, red chili, dates, vinegar, and 1/2 cup of water.  Return the eggplant to the heat. Sauté everything 3-5 minutes over high heat, until aromatic and the eggplant is tender. Add water, as needed, to prevent burning.
Pour in the tamari and turn off the heat.  Taste to adjust seasoning.

Garnish with toasted sesame seeds. Serve immediately.

Chef’s Tip: Ginger, Red Chili, and Garlic are the basics flavors for any stir-fry. Adjust the quantities of each to fit your taste preferences.

Chef Katie’s Tips:

Black Vinegar? Chinese black vinegar is an aged vinegar which is typically made from rice, but can also be made from wheat, millet, sorghum, or a combination. It has a deep black color, similar to that of balsamic vinegar.  You can substitute with balsamic for this recipe.

Extra Spicy Flavor: Keep the seeds of the red chili if you want extra heat.  You can easily bump up the flavors here by doubling the amount of garlic, red chili, or ginger you use.

More Plant-Based Protein? For more vegan protein, add in diced firm tofu, shelled edamame, or 1 can of adzuki beans. Add any of these at the same time you add garlic and ginger.

Tamari? Tamari is gluten-free soy sauce. Use it as your “salt” in this recipe. Because it is liquid, it will be easier to season the soup than a granulated salt.

Watch to Learn More:

Nutrition Facts

Serving size: 1/4 of a recipe (9.1 ounces).

Calories 95.22
Calories From Fat (8%) 7.48
% Daily Value

  • Total Fat 0.89g 1%
  • Saturated Fat 0.14g <1%
  • Cholesterol 0mg 0%
  • Sodium 143.82mg 6%
  • Potassium 643.43mg 18%
  • Total Carbohydrates 21.63g 7%
  • Fiber 7.63g 31%
  • Sugar 13.05g
  • Protein 3.3g 7%
  • Calcium 25.56mg 3%
  • Iron 50.97mg 283%
  • Vitamin A 387.74IU 8%
  • Vitamin C 0mg 0

Shopping and Gear List

  • SAN-J -TAMARI-REDUCED SODIUM [Gluten Free] (Organic) 10OZ[1PACK]
  • Soeos Chinkiang Vinegar, Chinese Black Vinegar, Zhenjiang Vinegar, 18.6 fl
  • Terrasoul Superfoods Organic Deglet Noor Dates (Pitted), 2 Pounds


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