Restaurant style Yu Xiang Eggplant 鱼香茄子

AuthorYun Zhang JohnCategoryDifficultyBeginnerRating
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Whenever I visit a Chinese restaurant, a must order vegetable dish is the Yu Xiang Eggplant aka. “fish-fragrant” eggplant 鱼香茄子. This is a dish that showcases the almighty eggplant in a balanced, savoury, sweet and sour sauce with a hint of spice.

If you’ve never heard of Yu Xiang or “fish-fragrant” dishes before, check out my Yu Xiang Rou Si 鱼香肉丝 and Yu Xiang Rou Si buns recipes. All three dishes features the same flavour profiles and are well-known Sichuan dishes that can be found in most restaurants.

Yu Xiang Sauce

A common question is always, why call this “fish-fragrant” eggplant when there is no fish at all in it? Well, the name refers to a combination of flavours that comes together from using garlic, ginger, green onions, soy sauce, vinegar, sugar and Sichuan style picked red chillies.

While picked red chillies are readily used to spice up Yu Xiang sauces, it’s not always easy to find (unless you pickle them yourself!) Pi Xiang DouBanJiang can be found in most Chinese grocery stores.

Other famous Sichuan dishes that has Fermented broad bean chilli paste - Pixian DouBanJiang (郫县豆瓣 are Mapo Tofu 麻婆豆腐, Red Braise Beef 红烧牛肉 and even Sichuan Fen Zheng Rou 粉蒸肉.

Restaurant style eggplant

In most Chinese restaurants, to prep the eggplant for Yu Xiang Eggplant, they deep fry them with a coating of corn starch. This works the eggplants fast and helps keep the purple colour of the skin, plus it’s sinfully delicious.

I’m not going to pretend that eggplants cooked in the fashion is going to be light on the oil. But I am convinced that if you are looking for a restaurant style Yu Xiang eggplant recipe, deep frying is important to get that same texture which taste so good.

If however, you just DO NOT want to deep fry the eggplant. I would still stir fry the eggplant on its own with 1-2 tbsp oil before cooking it with the sauce.

I’ve been wanting to share a eggplant recipe for a long time and this restaurant style Yu Xiang Eggplant is one that I am so proud of. I hope you can give it a try!

You Will Need

 1.50 lbs Eggplant~ 3 medium Japanese eggplants
 ½ Bell pepper
 1 tbsp Chopped garlic~ 3 cloves
 1 tbsp Chopped ginger
 1 Green onion
 ½ tbsp PiXiang DouBanJiangFermented broad bean chilli paste
 1 tbsp Oil
 2 tbsp Corn starch
 Oil for deep frying
Sauce
 ¼ tsp Sea salt
 1 tsp Sugar
 1 tbsp Light soy sauce
 2 tbsp Chinese black vinegar
 1 tbsp Oyster sauce
 1 tbsp Ketchup
 ¼ tsp White pepper powder
 ¼ cup Water
Corn starch slurry
 1.50 tbsp Corn starch
  cup Water

Instructions

1

Cut eggplant and pepper into strips. Chop garlic, ginger and the green onion.

2

Mix the sauce by combining salt, sugar, light soy sauce, oyster sauce, ketchup, white pepper powder and water. whisk to combine and set aside.

3

Dust the strips of eggplant with 2 tbsp corn starch. Toss to coat each strip.

4

Heat up an oil for deep fry over medium high heat. When small bubbles starts rising from the bottom of the pan to to top, the oil should be ready. Carefully put all the eggplant into the oil and fry for 2-3 min. Stirring occasionally so each strip will cook evenly. Then take out the eggplant put of the oil and set aside.

5

Then pour most of the oil out and keep about a tablespoon in the wok. Turn the heat back to medium high and add the chopped ginger, garlic and whites of the green onion. Stir fry for 30sec. Add the sichuan pixiang dou ban chilli paste and stir fry that for another 30sec.

6

Add in the sauce we make earlier and bring that to simmer. Toss the fried eggplant and peppers in and stir fry with the sauce for another minute. Pour in the corn starch slurry, stir fry to mix until the sauce clings on the vegetables and becomes glossy.

7

Sprinkle in the green part of the green onion and serve immediately.

Ingredients

 1.50 lbs Eggplant~ 3 medium Japanese eggplants
 ½ Bell pepper
 1 tbsp Chopped garlic~ 3 cloves
 1 tbsp Chopped ginger
 1 Green onion
 ½ tbsp PiXiang DouBanJiangFermented broad bean chilli paste
 1 tbsp Oil
 2 tbsp Corn starch
 Oil for deep frying
Sauce
 ¼ tsp Sea salt
 1 tsp Sugar
 1 tbsp Light soy sauce
 2 tbsp Chinese black vinegar
 1 tbsp Oyster sauce
 1 tbsp Ketchup
 ¼ tsp White pepper powder
 ¼ cup Water
Corn starch slurry
 1.50 tbsp Corn starch
  cup Water

Directions

1

Cut eggplant and pepper into strips. Chop garlic, ginger and the green onion.

2

Mix the sauce by combining salt, sugar, light soy sauce, oyster sauce, ketchup, white pepper powder and water. whisk to combine and set aside.

3

Dust the strips of eggplant with 2 tbsp corn starch. Toss to coat each strip.

4

Heat up an oil for deep fry over medium high heat. When small bubbles starts rising from the bottom of the pan to to top, the oil should be ready. Carefully put all the eggplant into the oil and fry for 2-3 min. Stirring occasionally so each strip will cook evenly. Then take out the eggplant put of the oil and set aside.

5

Then pour most of the oil out and keep about a tablespoon in the wok. Turn the heat back to medium high and add the chopped ginger, garlic and whites of the green onion. Stir fry for 30sec. Add the sichuan pixiang dou ban chilli paste and stir fry that for another 30sec.

6

Add in the sauce we make earlier and bring that to simmer. Toss the fried eggplant and peppers in and stir fry with the sauce for another minute. Pour in the corn starch slurry, stir fry to mix until the sauce clings on the vegetables and becomes glossy.

7

Sprinkle in the green part of the green onion and serve immediately.

Restaurant style Yu Xiang Eggplant 鱼香茄子

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