I have been eating ‘spicy eggplant stir fry’ all week. It’s a recipe from bowl food, which my ex-housemate Richard gave me for Christmas.

I had bought all the ingredients on the weekend and was talking to mum on the phone about the recipe.

‘Sounds nice,’ mum said. ‘But if you fry eggplant, it will soak up a lot of oil. It’s not very healthy. Why don’t you bake or steam the eggplant instead?’

Later, Damjan confirmed it. ‘Well, yes, eggplant probably will absorb a lot of oil. That’s what makes it taste nice!’

However, in the interest of health, I decided I would take mum’s advice and steam the eggplant before frying it in the wok. I don’t have a steamer but I do have a rice cooker and a flat bottomed round metal container sized such that it would sit snugly in the rice cooker. The combination is an ideal no mess double steamer.

The experiment was successful, very tasty. You can recreate it yourself.

  • 1.5 tbsp mápó sauce (Sichuan chilli bean sauce, of mápó tofu and ants climbing up trees fame)
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 500g eggplant (I used around two medium sized ones), cut into cubes
  • 1 onion, cut into slices
  • 1 red chilli, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1/2 cup fresh coriander

Mix together mápó sauce, soy sauce, vinegar and sugar.

Steam eggplant until soft (or fry in oil and use paper towels to absorb excess oil).

Then fry the sauce and eggplant together. When finished, mix in the coriander.

The coriander is very good. I think it made the dish taste nice. Serve with rice.

I sent this recipe to my mum and she immediately tried it out. She wrote:

‘Joan, I have just cooked the eggplant stir fry recipe that you gave me. It’s very tasty. For the next party I go to, I will bring this dish. Have a look at this photo. Is it like yours?’

Eggplant stir fry by mum

Eggplant stir fry by mum

Mum, I’m glad you liked the recipe! I cut my eggplant into smaller pieces. I think your eggplant dish is more beautiful because of the dash of fresh green coriander sprinkled on top and it’s in a pretty bowl.


  1. nique says:

    i love this dish! i found canned ones in one of those Pakistani shops when i was in Plymouth and always took the easy way out by just heating them up instead of cooking them..reckon that’s not a very healthy way to eat em’ hehehe

    • joanium says:

      Really, you can get this canned? Do you mean the sauce? People don’t sell aubegine/eggplant in a can :)

      I’ve cooked aubegine/eggplant today again. I’ve roasted it with courgette/zucchini and red pepper/capsicum. They’ve taken away our microwaves at work (grrr! more about this later) and now I’m experimenting with sandwich fillings.

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