Grilled Sichuan-Style Eggplant – Food Blogger Love
Sharing the Love this Valentine’s Day with this Grilled Sichuan-Style Eggplant recipe. Perfect for Meatless Mondays and an easy weeknight dinner dish.
One of the best parts of being a blogger is being a part of the wonderful communities and the people you get to know. There is so much love in many of these communities, full of people supporting each other and hoping for each other to succeed.
In honor of Valentine’s Day, the #FoodBloggerLove community paired up to make a recipe from a fellow blogger and #ShareTheLove with our readers.
I’m so excited to introduce you to Stephanie from Dessert Before Dinner. I knew she was a blogger match made in heaven from her blog title alone…dessert before dinner is my idea of a perfect meal! Then she went and sealed the deal when she said her favorite foods are bread, cheese, vegetables and wine! It’s like we were separated at birth.
Dessert Before Dinner has so many amazing recipes on their sight! It was hard to pick just one to share but this Garlic Sichuan Eggplant sounded amazing. Plus I was making Cauliflower Fried Rice for dinner that night and I knew it would be the perfect pairing.
Grilled Sichuan-Style Eggplant recipe
This dish is fantastic!!!! I made it once following the recipe on her site and then again two more times the following week, tweaking a few things to make it fit the ingredients I had on hand.
We had leftovers that we served on Super Bowl Sunday and it was such a huge hit. I grilled the eggplant and it came out so nice and charred. The spicy sauce on top is the kicker! It is such a great mix of flavors and is spicy without being burn your mouth hot.
The hubby loved this dish and he doesn’t usually like eggplant. Sometimes eggplant can get mushy in texture, but grilling it gives it a nice crunch on the outside. I also drizzled the sauce over the top as opposed to mixing it all together. Again, I think this helps the eggplant hold up a bit longer.
- ½ cup Kosher Salt
- 2 medium Japanese eggplant, cut lengthwise into quarters and then into 3 inch lengths
- 2 Thai chilis
- 3 Tbsp rice vinegar
- 2 Tbsp sake
- 1 Tbsp sugar
- 2 tsp soy sauce
- 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1¼ tsp cornstarch
- 3 Tbsp vegetable oil, divided
- 1 inch piece fresh ginger, minced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 3 scallions, sliced (green and white parts)
- 2 Tbsp gochujang (Korean red pepper paste)
- 2 Tbsp cilantro, chopped
- Sesame Seeds, for garnish
- In a large bowl or baking dish, dissolve kosher salt in 2 quarts of water.
- Place sliced eggplant in water, skin side up, and allow to soak for 10-20 minutes
- In a small sauce pan, heat rice vinegar until it begins to simmer.
- Slice Thai Chilies and place in a small bowl
- Pour hot rice vinegar over chilies and let sit for 5 minutes
- Then add sake, sugar, soy sauce, and balsamic vinegar to bowl
- Stirring constantly, add corn starch until dissolved. Set sauce to the side
- Drain eggplant and pat dry with a paper towel.
- Heat 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil over medium-high heat on a grill top or cast iron pan. Place eggplant pieces on pan and grill until slightly charred and browned on all sides.
- Meanwhile, in a small sauté pan, heat remaining 2 tbsp vegetable oil over medium heat. Add ginger, garlic and scallions. Cook until fragrant, about 1-2 minutes
- Add gochujang, mix together and cook for about 30 seconds.
- Pour in chili sauce mixture you set aside and mix all together. Scraping up any brown bits in bottom of pan.
- If sauce is too thick, add a little water until desired consistency is met.
- Place grilled eggplant on platter or serving bowl, top with sichuan-style sauce.
- Garnish with chopped cilantro and sesame seeds.
- Heat oil in a wok over high heat until smoking. Reduce heat to medium add eggplant, and cook, tossing occasionally, until softened and well browned on all sides. Push to sides of wok. Return wok to high heat and add ginger, garlic, and scallions. Cook, stirring and tossing constantly, until fragrant and raw bite is gone, about 30 seconds. Add broad bean paste and cook, stirring for about 30 seconds. Pour in chili sauce, making sure to scrape in any sugar or starch that may have settled on the bottom.
- Cook, tossing constantly, until sauce is thickened, glossy, and coats eggplants nicely, 1 to 3 minutes (if the sauce overthickens, thin with a few tablespoons of water). Transfer to a serving bowl, garnish with chopped fresh cilantro leaves, and serve immediately.
It’s really important to let the eggplant soak in the salt water mixture before cooking. It helps break down the cells in the eggplant, making the skin less tough and chewy.
This Grilled Sichuan-Style Eggplant would go great on top of a bed of rice, served over Zucchini Noodles, as a side dish to fried rice, fish, or even steak. Perfect for Meatless Mondays!
Share the Love – Blogger Style
See what my fellow #FoodBloggerLove community members are sharing this Valentine’s Day below…