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finished dish served on a blue platter garnished with red chilis and cilantro.

Saucy Chinese Eggplant in Oyster Sauce


The perfect sweet and savory Asian side dish or vegetarian main dish over steamed rice. 



2 small globe eggplants or 4 long thin Asian eggplants (about 4-5 cups total)

4 garlic cloves, minced

3 tablespoons neutral oil

2 tablespoons cornstarch, divided

3 tablespoons oyster sauce

3 tablespoons water or stock

1 tablespoon light soy sauce

1 teaspoon sesame oil

2 teaspoons sugar

1/8 teaspoon white pepper

1/4 cup cilantro leaves, for serving

1 red chili, sliced (optional - for the stir fry and serving)

Lime wedges, optional - for serving


  1. For the sauce: in a small bowl, combine oyster sauce, soy sauce, sesame oil, sugar, white pepper and 1 1/2 teaspoons of cornstarch. Stir to mix well, until there are no more clumps in the sauce. It will be quite a thick sauce. Set aside.
  2. For the eggplant: wash and slice the eggplant. Transfer the eggplant pieces to a bowl and toss with the remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons of cornstarch. Heat a large wok or cast iron skillet over medium high heat. Add 2 tablespoons of neutral oil to the pan. When it's shimmering, add the cornstarch coated eggplant sticks in a single layer (you will likely need to cook the eggplant in two batches). Leave the eggplant undisturbed in the pan for 2-3 minutes, ensuring you get charring on the vegetables before turning and cooking another 2-3 minutes.
  3. Finish both batches of eggplant, (adding more neutral oil to the pan, as needed, between batches) then move the cooked vegetables to a dish and set aside. Lower the heat to medium low and let the pan cool for a minute before adding minced garlic. Cook for one minute, then add fresh sliced red chilis to the pan. Stir fry for another minute, then pour the sauce into the pan, stirring quickly as it heats. Add the eggplant and 3 tablespoons of stock or water to the pan. Toss quickly to incorporate the liquid and coat the vegetables.

  4. To serve: top with fresh cilantro or green onions, additional sliced chili peppers and lime wedges (if using). Serve as a side or over steamed rice as a main dish.


Use large globe eggplant or the smaller Japanese variety for this recipe. 

For a mild stir fry, skip the chilis altogether. 

  • Prep Time: 5
  • Cook Time: 15
  • Category: Dinner, Sides
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Asian

Keywords: Eggplant Recipes, Chinese Eggplant, Chinese Eggplant with Oyster Sauce, Eggplant Stir Fry