Authentic Vietnamese recipes from the Motherland

Stir-Fried Eggplant with Black Bean Sauce

Once upon a time, I was in the kitchen, cooking up eggplant for my 7-month-old son. I wanted to introduce him to a large array of foods. He had already gone through the more traditional baby food, like pureed carrots, yams, and green beans. The new food for the week was going to be eggplant. I planned to bake the eggplant and puree it into mushy goodness. He was going to have the most sophisticated pallet ever and quite possibly become a world-renowned Chef because of his early introduction to exotic foods. 

My mom came to visit and stopped me in the kitchen. “Good Lord woman, you don’t feed babies eggplant!” My culinary dream for my son shattered into a million pieces.

Maybe eggplant is not the best starter food for babies. I chucked the eggplant for baby and made a stir fry for myself. Baby, of course, had something more suitable.

 Stir-Fried Eggplant with Black Bean Sauce

Stir-Fried Eggplant with Black Bean Sauce

Stir-Fried Eggplant with Black Bean Sauce Recipe


  • 2 large Chinese Eggplants; cut into long 1 inch pieces
  • 1 teaspoon salt 
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon corn starch
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon black bean sauce
  • 4 cloves of garlic; minced
  • 1 tablespoon of finely sliced ginger
  • 1 green onion finely sliced, or 1 tablespoon of minced parsley


  1. In a large bowl, add the eggplant and salt. Fill it with water until the eggplant is covered.
  2. Let the eggplant soak for 15 minutes. This will help the eggplant retain it's bright purple color. Drain and steam until fully cooked (about 8 minutes). Set aside.
  3. In a small bowl, combine the water, sugar, corn starch, soy sauce and rice wine vinegar. Mix with fork until fully dissolved. Set aside.
  4. In a wok or pan, add the vegetable oil and heat on medium high.
  5. Add the ginger and garlic. Saute until fragrant.
  6. Add the black bean paste and saute until fragrant.
  7. Add the steamed eggplant and toss it with the ginger/garlic/black bean mixture.
  8. Add the soy sauce mixture and let it thicken. Gently toss until the eggplant is fully coated with the thickened mixture.
  9. Turn off heat and garnish the eggplants with green onions or parsley.