Comments 26

Spicy garlic beef and eggplant

spicy-garlic-beef-eggplant004 This recipe is inspired by a dish that led me to fall in love with eggplant. I used to hate eggplant. For reals. I found it absolutely disgusting in flavour and texture. Now I love the stuff. I rejoice when I see eggplants for under $1 each at my local Asian grocer. Weird right?

I’m constantly amazed at how my palate has changed and this blog has been a great record of the changes.  The Koala also used to hate eggplant but likes it now too. Have eggplants changed? Have we?

Spicy garlic eggplant can be found at many of the Chinese restaurants along Dominion Road and I think I first tried this at Shaolin Kung Fu Noodle, though Barilla Dumplings also does a mighty fine version. Vegetarians and meat eaters will enjoy this tasty dish.

I’ve adapted this to include beef because well, I like beef. Feel free to skip the beef or replace with another vegetable such as mushroom (or more eggplant) for a vegetarian dish.


Spicy garlic beef and eggplant

Serves 2 with leftovers for lunch


  • 400 grams steak, sliced
  • 2 eggplants
  • Salt
  • 3 tablespoons oil
  • 2 tablespoon chili bean paste
  • 2 tablespoon black vinegar (or balsamic vinegar)
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon fish sauce (optional)
  • 1 inch ginger, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • A handful of sliced spring onion
  • 1 teaspoon sesame seeds


  1. Remove the stem of the eggplant and cut the rest into bite sized pieces. Put the pieces into a colander, sprinkle with salt, mix and rest for 30 minutes. (if you are in a hurry, you can skip the salt and rest part).
  2. Heat a tablespoon of oil in a large sauté pan or wok. Once oil is hot, fry the steak for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally until meat is browned. Transfer the cooked meat to a bowl and set aside.
  3. Add 2 tablespoons of oil to the pan, followed by the chill bean paste, soy sauce, fish sauce, ginger, garlic, sugar and black vinegar. Stir to mix. Add the eggplant and fry on high heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally until eggplant is softened.
  4. Add the steak back to the pan for a further 2 minutes, stirring well to coat in the sauce. Taste and season if required.
  5. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and spring onion and serve with rice.

Click here to see the other dish that made me fall in love with eggplant: Eggplant Miso-Cheese.

This entry was posted in: Recipes


I am Genie, a graphic designer/photographer obsessed with food and bunnies. I live in Whanganui, New Zealand with my husband, The Koala and our two rabbits, Kobe and Bento. I write about my hedonistic ways and I love the mantra "Eat well, travel often". I prefer not to write about myself in third person.


  1. I was like you. I used to hate eggplant too until I tried a Szechuan dish. Now I love it and have been making my own baba ghanouj for the last year. I’ve finally perfected the right amount of smoky and thickness. Very tasty. 🙂

  2. This sounds amazing. I love the idea of caramelising the beef and then browning the aubergine in all those delicious spices and flavours. Thanks for sharing the great recipe

  3. I’m with you 100% on the eggplant. I used to loathe it, but then I learned there are good ways to prepare it (especially Japanese and Chinese ways). That looks fab.

  4. Ooh, I love aubergine – and this looks really easy for a dinner.

    But I really came to comment to say your photography is just beautiful – it’s drawing me in to all your posts.

  5. Pingback: Spicy garlic beef and eggplant | My Meals are on Wheels

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