Here’s a popular and easy eggplant dish that only requires a few ingredients and 15 minutes! Fragrant Eggplant is covered in a well-balanced, sweet, savory and slightly spicy sauce that is bursting with umami, and it is so flavorful that this dish can even convert vegetable-haters into eggplant afficionados!
Fragrant Eggplant, also known as fish-fragrant eggplant (or Yu Xiang Eggplant 鱼香茄子), is a Sichuan-style dish that combines eggplant, minced pork, and basil in a spicy and savory sauce. The name of the dish does not mean that it contains fish, but rather that it uses the same seasonings that are often used to cook fish in Sichuan cuisine.
Eggplant is a versatile vegetable that can absorb the flavors of the sauce and become soft and tender when cooked. It is also rich in antioxidants, fiber, and vitamins. Basil adds a fresh and aromatic touch to the dish, as well as some health benefits such as anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. Minced pork provides some protein and texture, but you can also substitute it with other meats or tofu if you prefer.
The sauce is the key to this dish, as it balances the spiciness, sweetness, and saltiness of the ingredients. You can adjust the amount of spicy bean paste according to your taste, but don’t be afraid to add some heat, as it will enhance the flavor of the dish.
Fragrant eggplant is easy to make and does not require much prep work or cooking time! You only need a few basic ingredients that you can find in most Asian grocery stores or online, such as eggplant, basil, minced pork, garlic, ginger, sugar, light soy sauce, and spicy bean paste.
The result is a mouthwatering dish that is sure to impress your family and friends. You can serve fragrant eggplant with some steamed rice or noodles, or enjoy it on its own as a main or side dish. It is also great for leftovers, as the flavors will deepen and blend overnight.
Fragrant eggplant is a dish that you will want to make again and again, as it is delicious, easy, and satisfying. Try it today and let me know what you think!
Watch How To Make It
- 370 g eggplant
- 40 g basil
- 200 g minced pork
- 1 tbsp minced garlic
- 1 tbsp minced ginger
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 tbsp light soy sauce
- 2 tbsp spicy bean paste
- Wash the eggplant, remove the head and tail, then cut it into smaller pieces. Wash the basil too.
- Deep fry the eggplant for 2 mins, then set it aside.Pro Tip: Use long chopsticks to determine if the oil is hot enough by waiting for bubbles to appear around it.
- Saute minced garlic and ginger until fragrant, then add minced pork and cook it, before adding the seasoning.
- Add back the eggplant and basil, stir fry a little to coat the flavors and serve!