Chilli Bean Paste Eggplant
This is a simple Chinese-style wok dish of spicy chilli soy bean paste eggplants (辣豆漿茄子). Though eggplants (aka brinjal or aubergine) on their own taste quite bland (at least to me), they soak up the savoury soybean sauce like a sponge and go so well with steamed rice.
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Have you noticed the vibrant purple of this eggplant dish after they are cooked? If you add eggplant directly to the wok, they will lose their pretty purple and turn an unflattering brown shade instead. To retain the purple hue, you need to pre-cook the eggplants before stir-frying.
Retain the lovely purple hue of eggplants in this stir-fry:
For this recipe, I used the boiling method to pre-cook the eggplants: Bring a pot of water to a rapid boil, add eggplant pieces and weigh them down with either a drop lid or a slotted ladle as pictured above (note that the eggplants are under the ladle). Cook for 3 minutes. Check out this detailed tutorial for pre-cooking the eggplants using other methods (microwave or steam) to ‘lock-in’ the purple hue.
Drain and set aside the eggplants. They will still retain most of the lovely purple hue when you stir-fry them later.
This is the final eggplant dish stir-fried in chilli bean paste sauce. Enjoy!~
The bland eggplant must be so flavorful and delicious now, with this soy bean paste sauce. :) So good with rice or porridge.
I have tried both methods which are boiling and steaming. However, I still failed to retain the purple hue. May you advise the cause? Thanks.
The boiling method is especially accurate to get the purple hue. First, the water must be rapidly not slowly boiling (above 100C) when you add the eggplants to the pot. And they must be fully submerged in the boiling water the whole time (need to weigh it down with a wire mesh). Any eggplant that isn’t submerged will be browned instead of purple.
Thanks Wiffy for your explanation. Shall find some time to try again.