Ching-He Huang’s Chinese Aubergine

Adapted from recipes by: Ching-He Huang

This a spicy vegetarian recipe made with garlic, chilli, ginger and soy sauce.


groundnut oil, for deep-frying
1 large aubergine, cut into 2cm x 4cm batons
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2.5 cm piece ginger, peeled and finely chopped
1 red chilli, cut into rings
2 tbsp. chilli sauce/garlic chilli sauce
200 ml hot vegetable stock
1 tbsp. light soy sauce
1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
2 pinches brown sugar
1 tbsp. cornflour
jasmine rice, to serve


Fill a wok to one-third of its depth with groundnut oil and place over a high heat. When the oil reaches 180C, check using a digital thermometer or a cube of bread dropped in turns golden brown in 15 seconds and floats to the surface, it is ready to use.

Pat the aubergine dry with kitchen paper and, using tongs, lower each piece into the oil. Deep-fry for 2-3 minutes or until the aubergine is light golden, the skin slightly wrinkled and the flesh soft but still retaining its shape. Remove from the oil and drain on kitchen paper.

Pour the oil from the wok through a sieve into a heatproof container, you can reserve it for other recipes. Return 1 tablespoon of oil to the wok and heat until smoking, then add the garlic, ginger and chilli and stir-fry quickly for a few seconds. Stir in the chilli bean paste and return the aubergines to the wok.

Pour in the hot stock and bring to the boil, then turn the heat down to medium and simmer for 3-4 minutes, until the aubergine is soft and creamy.

Season with soy sauce, vinegar and brown sugar. Blend the cornflour to a paste with 2 tablespoons cold water and stir this into the wok, cooking until the sauce has thickened.

Spoon the aubergine into a large serving dish and serve immediately with jasmine rice.


Note: The original recipe called for 2 tbsp. chilli bean paste which is fermented bean paste with chilli. I have not found any kosher alternative to this but using chilli sauce and garlic sauce hasn’t been a terrible alternative!



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