Szechuan-style eggplant

HOLY SMOKE peeps, these are if you’re looking for something hot, something vegetarian and something addictive that is not chocolate or doughnuts. And well, savoury.

Here is my biggest tip in the whole Asian cooking thing. As far as I’m concerned it is the zenith for mis-en-place. Have all your ducks lined up in a row people, have it beside the stove and go go go. GO!

Shallots, garlic and ginger
The starting point


Eggplants, chilli bean paste, vinegar, szechuan peppers
Penis eggplants!


Frying eggplant
Deep frying makes everything better


Fried eggplant
A thing of beauty


Sauce for Szechuan eggplant
Cooking off the sauce.


Szechuan-style eggplant
Heaven on a plate

Szechuan-style eggplant

From Neil Perry, balance & harmony Asian food

  • 550g Japanese eggplants
  • 500ml vegetable oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/2 knob ginger, finely chopped
  • 3 spring onions, finely sliced
  • 3tbsp shaoxing
  • 3tbsp hot bean paste
  • 2 1/2 tbsp yellow bean soy sauce (I just used dark soy)
  • 100ml rice vinegar
  • 65g (1/3 cup) crushed yellow rock sugar
  • 1/2 tsp ground Szechuan pepper
  1. Cut the eggplants in half lengthways while the oil is heating in the wok. Once it’s smoking then deep-fry the eggplants until golden brown. This doesn’t take that long, and I just turned them every so often.I often find deep-frying quite stressful, the whole is it cooked enough, is the oil hot enough, too hot, blah blah blah. Now I just wait until it’s really smoking and then hope for the best. If I’m deep-frying something like chicken with bones in it then I will cook until golden and put on a rack in the oven (on about 180C) while I cook the rest of it. Seems to work a treat.
  2. Pour that oil into a container, then put about 2 tablespoons of oil in the pan and once smoking add the shallots, ginger and garlic. Keep them moving and once you can really smell their goodness then add the shaoxing.
  3. Then add the chilli paste, soy, vinegar and sugar. (Have this all measured and in a bowl together so you can just toss it in.) Bring to the boil and cook for two minutes.
  4. Add the eggplants, mashing them slightly so they absorb more of the flavour and cook for another two minutes.
  5. Turn onto a plate and scatter over some more shallots and ground Szechuan pepper.
  6. Devour.


Chilli bean paste
Current chilli addiction.



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  • Deb @ Bright and Precious

    OH my goodness – I seriously need to eat some of those deep fried penis eggplants NOW. Make no mistake, I will be trying this soon. I will devour.
    Deb @ Bright and Precious recently posted..Who are you?

    • allconsuming

      Penis eggplants are so SO tasty.

  • trash

    Why can’t we get penis eggplants in the UK? Maybe I should check at the Ann Summers shop?

    • allconsuming

      You can’t get them? that is ridiculous. Here their proper name is Japanese eggplants. So maybe Asian grocery stores?

  • Rachel @ The Kids Are All Right

    That looks bloody incredible. I’m also afraid of deepfrying. I could easily shallow fry though right? It looks like it would still be delicious either way. Hey, I once had this eggplant dish at a Japanese restaurant that was basically scored eggplant and some mixture that was probably mostly miso soup paste on top and possibly grilled? Anyway, I’ve tried making it at home and it didn’t turn out so well. So do you reckon you could google it, give it a burl, take some pics, blog about it, and let me know? Thanks so much :)
    Rachel @ The Kids Are All Right recently posted..You’re not special

    • allconsuming

      Yes, Neil ‘I’m ignoring that ridiculous pony tail’ Perry says in the recipe you can shallow fry them just as easily.