Eggplant Szechuan

Here’s another delicious eggplant recipe. If you are not an eggplant fan, try this recipe. The seasonings, often found in oriental cuisine, make the eggplant spicy and pungent. Grandma Jeanne says it is her favorite way to fix eggplant. 

Grandma lives in Houston, Texas, in one of the many neighborhoods affected by the flooding of Hurricane Harvey. She sent me this recipe just a few days the storm came. Who would know what devastation the next several days would bring. See the end of this post for a video and more on the flooding in her home and neighborhood. So I will share her favorite recipe with you — knowing her mind is far, far away from cooking right now.

Eggplant Szechuan

Grandma Jeanne’s eggplant recipe is a delightful way to prepare this summer vegetable in the Chinese Szechaun style. Szechaun cuisine comes from the southwestern Chinese province of Sichuan. The cuisine of this region is very spicy and flavorful, often with lots of garlic and chili peppers. 

Grandmother Jeanne’s recipe also contains ginger – just a small amount – but enough to spice things up. And it contains hot bean paste — an ingredient that I had to purchase because I don’t use it often. However, I do love sesame oil in many recipes and had that ingredient on hand.

This is a stir-fried recipe. The eggplant is cut into pieces about the size of your thumb and stir-fried in a wok in hot oil (but on how heat) until the pieces are tender and soft. The bite size pieces should still hold their shape.

Then the spices and seasonings which include ginger, garlic, bean paste, sugar and soy sauce are are stir-fried.

Everything is combined along with some broth, vinegar and sesame oil. Top with green onions and serve with rice.

Another great way to serve eggplant!

Eggplant Szechuan

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: easy
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  • 1 large purple eggplant (about 12 oz)
  • 1/2 tsp chopped ginger
  • 1 tsp chopped garlic
  • 1 Tbsp hot bean paste
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp sugar (I added 1/2 Tbsp brown sugar, too)
  • 1/2 cup soup stock or chicken bouillon
  • 1/2 Tbsp brown vinegar or 1 Tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1/2 Tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 to 3 Tbsp chopped green onion
  • 6 Tbsp peanut oil

Method and Steps

  1. Peel and cut eggplant into thumb size pieces.
  2. Heat oil in fry pan or wok until very hot. Add eggplant and turn heat to low.
  3. Stir fry until eggplant is soft. Press eggplant to squeeze out the excess oil. Set aside.
  4. Put garlic, ginger and hot bean sauce in fry pan or wok. Stir a few seconds and add soy sauce, sugar and soup stock. Bring to boil. Add eggplant and cook about one minute until sauce is gone. Add vinegar and sesame oil. Stir until heated through. Sprinkle with chopped green onion. Mix carefully and serve.

Hurricane Harvey and Grandma Jeanne’s neighborhood

Grandma Jeanne’s house has never flooded, although they have lived there in Houston over 50 years and weathered countless hurricanes and storms. This time she wasn’t so lucky as the water in the streets rose rapidly with the flooding of Hurricane Harvey. With no way to leave, she and relatives were trapped in her home. As the water came into her home in the middle of the night she was able to escape to a neighbor’s home who was on slightly higher ground. Relatives say there was about 10″ of water in her home.

The group of 5 or 6 stranded families watched helicopter rescues all the next day. CNN actually did much of their filming from the entrance to this neighborhood just a few blocks away. Grandma and everyone was safe. The host family took the 15 or so folks into their home, fed them and found bedding for sleeping even though there was no power. Grandma was able to get out the following day as the water in the streets receded. I am devastated at the damage to her home, I’m sure she is too. Please be thinking of her and all the other folks in Houston who flooded, too.

Here’s the video of the flooding around Grandma Jeanne’s home as Hurricane Harvey came inland to Houston, Texas.

3 thoughts on “Eggplant Szechuan

  1. For a tasty variation try the following – Cut firm tofu into chunks and stir-fry in sesame or olive oil until the outside is crispy, then toss in at the end with the eggplant mixture. Got your protein covered – a perfect meal!!

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