Sunday, May 18, 2014

Easy Chinese Eggplant

Chinese eggplant dinner on a plate

Chinese eggplant makes a great side dish. There is something about the long thin purple Chinese eggplants that I really love. They are tender and sweeter than traditional Italian type eggplants and cook faster. Eggplant and garlic is one of my favorite dishes when we eat at a Chinese restaurant . Actually, if I hadn't been introduced to this interesting vegetable in the Chinese restaurant, I doubt I would ever have tried it.

I've been shopping in an oriental type produce market lately, and they carry many of the ethnic vegetables of all cultures. They carry the traditional large purple eggplants, tiny little round eggplants on stems, and the long slim light purple Chinese variety that I used for this recipe. I made the recipe as a side dish for two people and used 3 eggplants. The eggplants are the size of a fat carrot. You eat the eggplants with the skin, so that makes the recipe even easier to make.

In the past, I've made the more traditional Chinese eggplant in garlic sauce, but today I wanted something a little different. I did not want to make a sauce with cornstarch. Instead I used garlic, balsamic vinegar and red wine. All of the alcohol cooks out, and the wine imparts a lovely flavor into the eggplant.

The side dish was very tasty sprinkled with some ground cumin. It brings out the flavor of the eggplant!  After all ,Mediterranean recipes always mix cumin and eggplant so I thought I would give it a try in this Chinese version. I guess you could say I made a very un-traditional Chinese eggplant dish. It worked great; the recipe was delicious. If you do not care for the taste of cumin, leave it out and season with some Chinese seasoning of your choice.


3 Chinese eggplants ( they are small about the size of a carrot)
2 Tablespoons of coconut oil or olive oil
2 cloves of garlic, pressed or chopped
1 small onion, cut into 1/2 moons
1/4 balsamic vinegar
1/4 red wine
1/4 cup red wine
freshly cracked pepper
salt to taste
1 teaspoon of ground cumin
1/4 cup of chopped green onion ( scallion)
3 small chinese eggplants on a plate

chinese eggplant sliced
These are the 3 eggplants chopped

eggplant cooking in pan
Eggplant before I put in the balsamic and wine

Slice each eggplant down the center lengthwise, then cut on a diagonal into 6 or 7 large chunks depending on the size of your eggplants. Saute eggplant , garlic, and onions in skillet in coconut oil stirring frequently for about 5 minutes. Add the balsamic vinegar and 1/4 cup wine and continue to cook until almost soft. Turn temperature up a little higher and add last 1/4 of wine and allow to cook out. Sprinkle with ground cumin powder and garnish with scallions.

chinese eggplant, tomatoes, and green onion on a plate with a container of cumin

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  1. Yummy! This look so delicious! I have never tasted Chinese eggplant (I make an eggplant Parmesan lasagna recipe that we love. I think eggplant is a veggie that is underrated. It really is delicious when cooked properly. I must try the Chinese variety soon. Have a great week.

  2. I am pinning this right now! I adore eggplant and I love your flavor combo! The garlic sauce sounds good too! My husband and I are kind of on a Chinese kick lately - but making it home made, so this will go right into my menu for this week! I think it is still kind of Asian flavored, with the cumin and the balsamic making it a little sweet.... Sounds great whatever! Thanks for linking up to the Merry Monday Linky - I'm glad I found your blog! Julia (co-host)

  3. Goodness this looks amazing!! I agree with Rachel that eggplant is underrated!! It is so easy to cook and add to many dishes!! I'm just wondering if I can grow these here in upstate New York. Going to find that out. Thanks for the recipe Judee!!

  4. I tried an Indian dish that paired eggplant with cumin and have to admit that I was hesitant. But it was really good. We should be picking eggplant soon and I'm collecting all the eggplant recipes I can. Thank you, Judee!

  5. Your recipe sounds delicious, Judee. I'm not sure I've ever had Chinese eggplant but I'm definitely going to keep my eyes open for it now! I like the spices you have used and the addition of the balsamic vinegar too. Thank you for sharing this wonderful recipe with us at the Hearth and Soul Hop. Pinned :-)

  6. I am growing some Chinese Eggplant in our garden, this will be a great dish to try. Have a wonderful Memorial Day Weekend and thanks so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday.
    Be safe and come back soon!
    Miz Helen

  7. Eggplant is a great vegetable to make some very delicious dishes from and this recipe sounds like a winner. It has such healthy ingredients Thanks for sharing on Real Food Fridays Blog Hop!

  8. Eggplant is a wonderful vegetable that you can make so many delicious dishes from and this recipe sounds like a real winner. Thanks for sharing on Real Food Fridays Blog Hop!

  9. I am always looking for great eggplant recipes! It is a veggie that I love on "meatless" dinner nights, but I think my family is pretty sick of Eggplant Parmesan! I can sometimes find this eggplant at the farmer's market over the summer months.

    Thank you for linking up at Farmer's Market Friday this week!

  10. Hi Judee,
    Yum! I love the blend of flavors and textures in your amazing Chinese Eggplant with Cumin. What a tasty, satisfying meal! Thank you so much for sharing this healthy and delicious recipe at the Plant-Based Potluck Party Blog Hop! I sincerely appreciate it!

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