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Spicy Thai Eggplant Stir Fry

August 6, 2011

spicy garlic eggplant stir fry over bed of rice

Last weekend I went to visit my friend Holly on the farm she’s working on for the summer. We spent the afternoon getting our feet nibbled on by goat kids, running after baby peacocks and sampling cherry tomatoes hot off the vine. And lucky me, I came home with a big bag of veggies left over from deadbeat CSA members who didn’t pick up their share that week! Included in that bag were several Asian eggplants – which are much skinnier than their large italian counterparts, and in my opinion tastier and easier to cook with.

goat kid

green onions and purple basil

Generally in the summer when I come home with a vegetable of any sort and I start wondering aloud what to make with it, Fred will insist on grilling it. I will be browsing cookbooks and blogs for inspiration while he stands behind me chanting “grill it, grill it, grill it!” And while I’m certainly a fan of grilling, occasionally I want to eat my veggies prepared another way. So I set about to create a recipe that would excite my Fred enough to think twice about whether he really wanted to grill. The result is this delicious stir fry, based off an amalgamation of a Cooks Illustrated recipe and a Madhur Jaffrey favorite, which used eggplants, basil and green onions from my farm goodie-bag. The best part? Fred suggested we do this again the next time we come into some eggplant, instead of grilling it…

cubed asian eggplant

Spicy Thai Eggplant Stir Fry

(Serves 2 as a main dish, 4 as a side)

Asian eggplants are also referred to as chinese, japanese and oriental eggplants. They’d all be great in this recipe!


3 tbs fish sauce
1 tbs lime juice
1 tbs brown sugar
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes

2 tbs sesame oil , plus 1 teaspoon
1 lb eggplant (1 large Italian or several Asian), cut into 3/4-inch cubes
6 garlic cloves, minced
3/4 inch piece fresh ginger , peeled and minced
1 green onion or 2 scallions , white and green parts, sliced thin, small amount reserved for garnish
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves , torn into strips, small amount reserved for garnish


In a small bowl, whisk together fish sauce, lime juice, sugar, and red pepper until sugar is dissolved. Set aside.

Heat 2 tablespoons of your oil in a medium skillet set over high heat until shimmering: 2 to 3 minutes. Add your eggplant and cook, stirring very often, until the eggplant is browned and tender, 4 to 5 minutes. Push the eggplant to sides of the skillet and add your remaining teaspoon of oil, garlic, and ginger to the center of the pan. Cook until fragrant, 30 to 45 seconds, then stir together with the eggplant. Add your reserved sauce and stir until combined. Turn off the heat and stir in scallions and basil.

Serve immediately over a bed of rice, garnish with reserved basil and scallions.

spicy garlic eggplant over bed of rice

One Comment leave one →
  1. Jindi's Cottage permalink
    August 6, 2011 9:52 pm

    Mmmm…this looks and sounds so yummy another one I’m going to have to give a try. BTW I made the dahl & peas (badly I might add) and it was yummy, although despite reading and re-reading the ingredient list so I could shop accordingly I missed the chilli…next time…thanks for sharing such yummy recipes…now off to Mr Google to work out what we call red pepper flakes!!
    Oh and that goat kid…how cute is that photo…adorable…

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