Hot & Sour Eggplant

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves:


    as a Side

Appears in

My Street Food Kitchen

My Street Food Kitchen

By Jennifer Joyce

Published 2015

  • About

The countryside in southern China is ridiculously gorgeous. Bright green rice paddies surround the old mountains and we could ride bicycles everywhere. A local woman made us this simple dish at her home: the tasty vegetarian offering was a welcome respite after many stir-fries that included all the bones and bits. Soaking the aubergines in water before cooking keeps them plump and juicy.

Preparation: 10 Minutes, Plus 30 Minutes Soaking
Cooking: 10 Minutes


  • 1 large eggplant (aubergine), cut into 4 cm (1Β½ inch) chunks
  • 60 ml (2 fl oz/1Β½ cup) peanut (groundnut) oil
  • 1 large onion, halved and thickly sliced into half moons
  • 1 thumb-size fresh red chilli, halved, seeded, thinly sliced


  • 1 tablespoon light soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons Chinese black vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons caster (superfine) sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cornflour (cornstarch), mixed with 1 tablespoon water


Place the chopped eggplant in a bowl of lightly salted water and stand for 30 minutes. Drain and pat dry well on a clean tea towel (dish towel).

To make the sauce, combine all of the ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.

Heat the oil in a large frying pan or wok over medium-high heat. When hot, cook the eggplant until browned on all sides. Keep the heat medium-high so they brown nicely; don’t turn them too early but let them get a nice colour first. When browned, add the onion and chilli and cook for another 3-4 minutes or until the eggplant is soft.

Add the sauce, cover with a lid and simmer for 1-2 minutes until the sauce has slightly thickened and all the flavours have melded together.