Szechuan Eggplant


  • 2 small eggplants
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 dried red chiles
  • peanut oil, for frying
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1/2-inch piece of fresh ginger root finely chopped
  • 4 scallions, cut into 1 inch lengths (white and green parts separated)
  • 1 tablespoon Chinese rice wine or medium-dry sherry
  • 1 tablespoon light soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground roasted Szechuan peppercorns
  • 1 tablespoon Chinese rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil


Trim the eggplant and cut into strips about 1 1/2 inches wide and 3 inches long. Place the eggplant strips in a colander and sprinkle with the salt. Set aside for 30 minutes, then rinse thoroughly under cold running water. Pat dry with paper towels. Meanwhile, soak the chiles in warm water for 15 minutes. Drain, then cut each chile into four pieces, discarding the seeds. Half-fill a wok with oil and heat to 350 degrees. Deep-fry the eggplant until golden brown. Drain on paper towels. Pour off most of the oil from the wok. Reheat the oil and add the garlic, ginger and white scallion parts. Stir-fry for 30 seconds. Add the eggplant and toss, then add the rice wine or sherry, soy sauce, sugar, ground peppercorns and rice vinegar. Stir-fry for 1-2 minutes. Sprinkle with the sesame oil and green scallion parts and serve immediately.

Serves 4