Sweet Chilli Eggplant


Date Published: August 12th, 2020 | Last Updated: August 12th, 2020
Author: Abby |Category: sides, asian, easy, quick, vegetarian
Serves: 4 | Prep time: 5 mins | Cook time: 10 mins

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Australians really like their sweet chilli sauce. I had no idea until I moved here nearly 6 years ago. It’s most commonly used as a dip for deep fried foods (especially with chicken salt potato wedges and sour cream – YUM) and it’s also widely available as a condiment in many takeaway shops. Sweet chilli sauce isn’t a very common ingredient in Chinese cuisine so I didn’t have much exposure to it growing up but since moving to Australia I’ve increased my sweet chilli intake by 200% 😅.

This recipe came from my good friend Anita. We had dinner at her place one day back in the vet school days and she wanted to recreate a dish she had at a restaurant with eggplant steaks. After a dash of this and that, she concocted a delicious sweet and savoury sauce that the eggplant steaks were bathed in. It was SO good. There wasn’t a written recipe since she didn’t measure anything (like a true OG Asian cook, eh?) so I’ve recreated it based on the ingredients she used and the result is bang on. I know the serving size says 4, but I could seriously eat a whole plate of this myself over a bowl of rice. I actually wasn’t a fan of eggplants until that day, surprisingly, and now I can’t get enough of it! I’m currently working on a few more eggplant recipes at the moment so keep an eye out!

Anyways, without further ado, here’s the recipe! If you have any comments or suggestions, I’d love to hear from you in the comment section! You can follow me on instagram, youtube and facebook to see all the recipes I post!

Happy cooking!

Ingredients you’ll need:

  • Sauce:
    • 1/4 cup sweet chilli sauce
    • 1/4 cup Chinese cooking wine
    • 2 Tbsps kecap manis (Indonesian sweet soy sauce)
    • 1 Tbsp soy sauce
    • 1 Tbsp black vinegar (I like the Chinkiang brand)
    • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbsps neutral oil
  • 2 medium eggplants, diced in roughly 4cm pieces (I just use regular eggplants but you can use the Chinese variety if you like)
  • 1 Tbsp cornstarch

Directions:

Make the sauce by mixing all the sauce ingredients in a bowl: sweet chilli sauce, cooking wine, kecap manis, soy sauce, black vinegar, and garlic. Set aside.

Heat a skillet on MED-HIGH heat and drizzle 2 tablespoons of oil into the skillet and swirl around to coat. Add the eggplants in batches (don’t overcrowd the pan, only sear one layer of eggplant at once) and sear them until the centres are soft and the skin blisters or wrinkles.

The eggplant will absorb the oil right away so don’t worry if your pan looks dry because the eggplants will release some oil and liquid as it cooks. Remove from the pan and set aside.

In the same skillet, turn the heat down to MEDIUM and add in the sauce. Stir-fry the sauce for 30 seconds, then scoop out a couple tablespoons into a bowl and mix it with the cornstarch then add it back into the skillet with the rest of the sauce and stir. Let the sauce simmer and bubble for a minute and continue stirring until the sauce thickens (the consistency should be gloopy, similar to sweet chilli sauce). Taste and adjust flavours as needed.

Pour the sauce over the eggplants and mix. Done! Serve immediately.

Tip: You can make these into eggplant steaks by slicing the egg plants into 3cm thick slices and follow the recipe exactly the same way and pour the sauce over before serving.

Summarized Recipe:

Sweet Chilli Eggplant

Date Published: August 12th, 2020 | Last Updated: August 12th, 2020
Author: Abby |Category: sides, asian, easy, quick, vegetarian
Serves: 4 | Prep time: 5 mins | Cook time: 10 mins

Ingredients:

  • Sauce:
    • 1/4 cup sweet chilli sauce
    • 1/4 cup Chinese cooking wine
    • 2 Tbsps kecap manis (Indonesian sweet soy sauce)
    • 1 Tbsp soy sauce
    • 1 Tbsp black vinegar (I like the Chinkiang brand)
    • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbsps neutral oil
  • 2 medium eggplants, diced in roughly 4cm pieces (I just use regular eggplants but you can use the Chinese variety if you like)
  • 1 Tbsp cornstarch

Directions:

  1. Make the sauce by mixing all the sauce ingredients in a bowl: sweet chilli sauce, cooking wine, kecap manis, soy sauce, black vinegar, and garlic. Set aside.
  2. Heat a skillet on MED-HIGH heat and drizzle 2 tablespoons of oil into the skillet and swirl around to coat. Add the eggplants in batches (don’t overcrowd the pan, only sear one layer of eggplant at once) and sear them until the centres are soft and the skin blisters or wrinkles.
    • The eggplant will absorb the oil right away so don’t worry if your pan looks dry because the eggplants will release some oil and liquid as it cooks. Remove from the pan and set aside.
  3. In the same skillet, turn the heat down to MEDIUM and add in the sauce. Stir-fry the sauce for 30 seconds, then scoop out a couple tablespoons into a bowl and mix it with the cornstarch then add it back into the skillet with the rest of the sauce and stir. Let the sauce simmer and bubble for a minute and continue stirring until the sauce thickens (the consistency should be gloopy, similar to sweet chilli sauce). Taste and adjust flavours as needed.
  4. Pour the sauce over the eggplants and mix. Done! Serve immediately.

Tip: You can make these into eggplant steaks by slicing the egg plants into 3cm thick slices and follow the recipe exactly the same way and pour the sauce over before serving.

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