Don't worry, there aren't actually any fish or fish products in this recipe! It's an authentic Chinese dish that is flavored with chili bean paste and soy sauce to give the eggplant a deceptively "fishy" taste. One bite of this sweet, sour, and spicy vegan fish-flavored eggplant is sure to make you feel like you're eating authentic Chinese food, no matter where you live!
Fish-Flavored Eggplant [Vegan]
- 2 long Asian eggplants (long and skinny)
- 2 tablespoons oil*
- 1 1/2 tablespoons doubanjiang (chili bean paste)
- 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon crushed Sichuan peppercorns (optional)
- 1/4 cup vegetable broth
- 2 teaspoons coconut sugar
- 1 teaspoon soy sauce**
- 1 teaspoon arrowroot powder
- 1 tablespoon water
- 2 teaspoons rice vinegar
- 4 scallions, sliced on the bias
- Chop eggplant into 1-2 inch pieces. Place the eggplant into a colander, and sprinkle with salt. Allow the eggplant to sweat for 30 minutes so that some of the moisture is released.
- While the eggplant is sweating, prepare the ginger and garlic and measure out the remaining ingredients.
- After 30 minutes, add 2 tablespoons of oil to a wok and let it heat up over medium-high heat. Sauté the eggplant until starting to brown, about 7 minutes. Add in the chili bean paste, ginger, garlic, and optional Sichuan peppercorns and continue to cook until you can smell the aroma of the spices.
- Add in the vegetable broth and sugar and mix well.
- In a small bowl, dissolve the arrowroot powder in 1 tablespoon of water. Then pour the mixture into the wok and allow the arrowroot powder to thicken the sauce.
- Lastly, add in the vinegar and green scallions and stir a couple more times.
- Remove from the heat, plate, and serve over steamed rice!
*If you want to cut down on the oil in this recipe, feel free to not sweat the eggplant and then dry or water sauté the eggplant in the wok. **Sub tamari if gluten-free.