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This eggplant stir-fry is easy to make. We call for long and tender Japanese eggplant, but regular eggplant will work well too, cut into 1-inch pieces. Jalapeño peppers can vary from mild to very spicy. If you need to cut the heat, opt for small sweet peppers in their place.

EatingWell.com, May 2020; updated September 2022


Read the full recipe after the video.

Recipe Summary

15 mins
15 mins

What Eggplant Is Best for Stir Fries?

While any type of eggplant will work in a stir fry, we prefer Japanese eggplants for this recipe. Sometimes referred to as Chinese eggplant or Asian eggplant, this type of eggplant is usually long and slender with tender purple skin and sweet, meaty flesh. They have fewer seeds than rounder varieties which gives them a nice, firm texture and a less bitter flavor. Japanese eggplants are readily available at well-stocked supermarkets, Asian grocery stores or farmers markets. They are easiest to find in mid to late summer. If you can't find Japanese eggplant, a regular globe-shaped eggplant will work too. Just cut the eggplant into smaller 1-inch pieces so it holds up better while cooking.

How to Stir Fry Eggplant Perfectly

The trick to perfectly cooked eggplant is getting a good sear on the outside, with tender, silky flesh on the inside. We do this by cooking the eggplant in batches as opposed to throwing it all in the pan at once. This extra step allows the eggplant to brown instead of steam, which adds flavor and prevents the eggplant pieces from falling apart. Simply transfer the first batch to a bowl and cover it to keep warm while the second batch cooks. When the second batch is finished, add it to the first followed by the other ingredients, then toss it with the sauce. Viola! Perfect stir-fried eggplant.

Additional reporting by Hilary Meyer 


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Cut eggplants into quarters lengthwise, then into 2-inch pieces. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large cast-iron skillet over high heat. Add half of the eggplant and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender and browned in parts, 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl. Repeat with 2 tablespoons oil and the remaining eggplant. Cover the eggplant to keep warm and set aside.

  • Meanwhile, whisk hoisin, soy sauce and plum sauce in a small bowl. Set aside.

  • Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil in the skillet over high heat. Add jalapeños and onion; cook, stirring often, until slightly softened, 4 to 5 minutes. Add garlic and ginger; cook, stirring often, until softened and fragrant, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Add the onion mixture and basil to the eggplant and stir in the sauce. Serve immediately.

Nutrition Facts

2/3 cup
161 calories; protein 2.3g; carbohydrates 12.6g; dietary fiber 1.7g; sugars 5.8g; fat 12.2g; saturated fat 0.9g; cholesterol 0.2mg; vitamin a iu 451.1IU; vitamin c 10.5mg; folate 37.1mcg; calcium 31.4mg; iron 0.7mg; magnesium 28mg; potassium 347.6mg; sodium 298.4mg; added sugar 1.5g.