Stir-Fried Eggplant and Green Beans with Tofu and Chili-Garlic Sauce Recipe


  • 3 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 6 ounces green beans, trimmed, cut into 2–3-inch pieces
  • 1 long, narrow Chinese eggplant (about 9 ounces), cut in half lengthwise, halves cut into 1/2-inch slices on a wide diagonal
  • 3 scallions, green and white parts separated, thinly sliced
  • 7 ounces teriyaki-flavor baked tofu, preferably organic, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 3 tablespoons chili-garlic sauce

Recipe Preparation

  • Heat 1/2 Tbsp. oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add green beans and stir-fry until coated, about 30 seconds. Add 1 Tbsp. water to skillet, cover, and cook until beans are almost crisp-tender and water evaporates, about 2 minutes. Transfer green beans to a bowl.

  • Heat remaining 3 Tbsp. oil in same skillet over medium-high heat. Add eggplant and stir-fry until tender and brown, about 2 minutes. Add white parts of scallions and stir-fry until scallions are fragrant, about 30 seconds. Return green beans to skillet; add tofu and stir-fry until tofu is browned and heated through, about 2 minutes.

  • Mix chili-garlic sauce and 2 Tbsp. water in a small bowl. Pour into skillet and stir-fry vegetables and tofu gently until lightly coated, about 1 minute. Season to taste with salt. Sprinkle with green parts of scallions and divide among plates.

Recipe by Jeanne Thiel Kelley,Photos by Mar a del Mar Sacasa Ennis IncReviews Section

Kale, Eggplant and Crispy Tofu Stir-Fry with Black Bean Sauce

Place the tofu on a large plate with a small lip to catch water. Put a small plate on top of the tofu and something heavy (like a can of beans) on top of the plate. After 15 minutes discard the water that has drained from the tofu and cut it into 2-inch cubes.

Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a well-seasoned cast iron pan or non-stick pan over medium high heat. Add the tofu and give the pan a shake so it doesn&rsquot stick. Cook for 5-7 minutes, or until the tofu is crispy and brown. Turn each piece over and continue cooking until lightly browned, about 5 more minutes. Add more oil if sticking.

In a small bowl whisk together the water, black bean sauce, chili-garlic sauce, honey, white vinegar and garlic. Set aside.

Add the remaining tablespoon of oil to a large frying pan or wok over medium high heat. Add the eggplant and cook, stirring frequently, until it is soft, about 8-10 minutes. Add the kale and cook until it just starts to wilt, about 1 minute. Add the crispy tofu and the sauce and cook until the sauce is thick and coats the vegetables, about 30 seconds.


Alright! First up is our shopping list for this mouthwatering Yu Xiang Eggplant. Here&rsquos what you&rsquoll need:

  • Eggplant: You can use either a Chinese or Japanese eggplant. Chinese eggplants tend to be longer and slimmer that the typical eggplant you see in the supermarkets in the States. Taste wise, they are not bitter like your typical eggplant, but have a sweet and mild flavor instead. They also also have less seeds. Look for this in your local Chinatown or Asian grocery store. If you live in Asia, you can find this in your local supermarket and wet market.
  • Aromatics: Just some garlic, ginger, red chilies, and spring onion. Use as many (or as little) chilies you like based on your heat level preference. You can also opt to deseed them if you want to make this dish milder.
  • Dried Cloud Ear Mushrooms: These are Asian mushrooms that resemble ears in appearance (hence the name). They belong to the Auriculariaceae family, and have a tender, rubbery, and chewy texture. They very popular in Chinese and Sichuan cuisine. Look for dried cloud ear mushrooms in packages in Asian grocery stores in the US and UK. Or you can purchase them online. In Asia, you can find fresh and dried versions of cloud ears in your local supermarket and wet market.
  • Dried Red Chilies: Just a few for some extra heat! I break them into small pieces so that they can release their spicy oils into the wok. But you can omit or deseed them to make this dish milder.
  • Ground/minced or shredded Pork (optional): Feel free to omit the pork if making this vegetarian/vegan. If you&rsquore not a pork person, simply swap for ground chicken, turkey, lamb, or even ground beef. Or, if making this vegetarian, you can try a plant-based ground beef product such as Beyond Beef from Beyond Meat.
  • Dou Ban Jiang (Chili Bean Sauce/Paste, also known as Toban Djan or Doubanjiang): This is the key ingredient in this Sichuan dish! It is essentially a chili sauce/paste that&rsquos made with broad beans. It has a spicy, salty, and slightly sour flavor. Although authentic Pixian Dou Ban Jiang is preferred, Lee Kum Kee brand Chili Bean Sauce will work perfectly fine too. 👌 In fact, the latter is more commonly available in the States and in other countries outside of China. It is what I used to make this dish.
  • For the Sauce: A quick and easy combination of low sodium light soy sauce, Shao Xing rice wine, Chinkiang vinegar (Chinese black vinegar), dark soy sauce, and sesame oil.
  • White Sugar: Just two or three teaspoons to balance out the heat from the chilies and chili bean sauce!
  • Corn Starch slurry: To help thicken the sauce. Mix one tablespoon of corn starch with ½ cup water to make this. Be sure to mix the slurry again with a spoon just before adding into the wok because the corn starch will separate and settle at the bottom.
  • Oils (for cooking): I use peanut oil for cooking here, but you can use any other cooking oil with a high burning point such as avocado oil. I also use sesame oil and chili oil to add plenty of extra flavor to the dish! But the latter is optional, and can be omitted if you are making this dish milder.
  • Rice: For serving. You can use white rice, brown rice, quinoa, or even cauliflower rice if you prefer!

Instructions for how to make mapo tofu:


1. Minced 4 cloves of garlic.

2. Cut 3 sticks of green onion.

3. Cut a block of soft tofu into cubes and set them aside.

  • 2 medium Chinese eggplants (about 10 to 11 ounces)
  • For the Sauce:
  • 4 1/2 teaspoons dark soy sauce
  • 4 1/2 teaspoons light soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Chinese red-rice vinegar (or balsamic vinegar or red-wine vinegar)
  • 1 tablespoon Chinese rice wine (or dry sherry)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/3 cup chicken broth
  • For the Pork:
  • Pinch black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons ground pork (no more than 1/4 cup)
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil (or peanut oil)
  • 2 teaspoons garlic (minced)
  • 1 teaspoon ginger (minced)
  • 1 green onion (white and green parts finely chopped)
  • 1 tablespoon chili garlic sauce
  • 1 tablespoon water

Note: while there are multiple steps to this recipe, this Sichuan eggplant is broken down into workable categories to help you better plan for cooking.

The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.

The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

While waiting for the water to boil, prepare the eggplant. Cut the ends off the eggplant and then cut the eggplant in half crosswise. Cut each half lengthwise into quarters.

The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

Line up the eggplant slices from left to right and cut diagonally into pieces approximately 3/4-inch thick.

The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

Add the eggplant to the boiling water for 2 to 3 minutes.

The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

Drain the eggplant on paper towels.

The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

Make the sauce by combining the dark and light soy sauces, vinegar, rice wine or dry sherry, sugar, and chicken broth in a small bowl. Set aside.

The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

In a separate small bowl, use your fingers to mix the black pepper and cornstarch into the ground pork. (The black pepper adds a bit of extra flavor and a small amount of cornstarch helps keep the ground pork from sticking).

The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

Heat a wok or pan over medium-high heat and add 1 tablespoon of oil to the wok. When the oil is hot, add the garlic, ginger, and green onion.

The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

Stir-fry for 10 seconds, then add the ground pork.

The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

Stir in the chili garlic sauce.

The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

Stir-fry until the pork turns white and is nearly cooked (about 1 minute), using a spatula to break the pork into small pieces.

The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

Add the eggplant and stir for a minute to mix everything together. Give the sauce a quick re-stir and swirl it into the pan, stirring. Turn down the heat to medium-low, cover and simmer for about 10 minutes, or until the eggplant is tender.

The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

In a small cup, mix the cornstarch and water.

The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

Add the cornstarch slurry to the middle of the pan, stirring quickly to thicken. Once thickened, the dish is done. Serve hot.

The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

  • Both Chinese eggplant and chili garlic sauce are available at Asian markets and many mainstream grocery stores.

Recipe Variations

Instead of boiling the eggplant, you can stir-fry it before combining with the pork and other ingredients:

Change It Up

This recipe is quite versatile! I’d suggest making it as-is the first time, and then you can play around with these ideas.

  • You can easily change up this recipe by choosing to use different vegetables (broccoli and bell pepper were fantastic in my cookbook recipe).
  • You could also drizzle the recipe with peanut sauce instead of the honey-sesame glaze.
  • Or, increase the sprouts to 2 pounds, omit the tofu and rice, and you’ll have an irresistible Brussels sprout side dish (better yet, follow my Kung Pao Brussels sprouts recipe).

Please let me know how the recipe turns out for you in the comments! I’m always so happy to hear from you.

  • 2 14-ounce packages firm water-packed tofu, drained
  • 4 1/2 tablespoons Shao Hsing rice wine or sake (see Notes), divided
  • 2 ½ tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce, divided
  • 1 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder (see Notes)
  • ½ teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1/2 cup vegetable broth or water
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons fermented black beans or 1 tablespoon black bean-garlic sauce (see Notes)
  • 1 ½ tablespoons minced fresh ginger
  • 1 teaspoon chile-garlic sauce (see Notes)
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into thin strips
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, cut into thin strips
  • 2 cups snow peas, strings removed
  • 2 cups chopped scallions greens

Cut each block of tofu in half horizontally, making two large slices about 1 inch thick. Fold a clean kitchen towel and place it on a cutting board or large plate. Set the tofu on the towel. Put another folded clean towel over the tofu and place a flat, heavy weight (such as a skillet) on top drain for 30 minutes.

Stir together 2 tablespoons rice wine (or sake), 1 tablespoon soy sauce, five-spice powder and sesame oil in a medium bowl. Cut the drained tofu into 1-inch pieces. Add to the marinade and toss to coat. Cover and let stand at room temperature for 25 minutes.

Position a rack 4 to 6 inches from the heat source preheat broiler. Line a large baking sheet with foil and spread the tofu on it in an even layer. Broil, turning once, until lightly browned and crisp, 8 to 10 minutes total.

Meanwhile, stir together 1 1/2 tablespoons rice wine (or sake), the remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce, broth (or water), cornstarch, sugar and pepper in a small bowl. Place next to the stove.

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Add garlic, black beans (or black bean-garlic sauce), ginger and chile-garlic sauce and cook, stirring, until fragrant, 10 to 15 seconds. Add bell peppers and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add snow peas and the remaining 1 tablespoon rice wine (or sake) and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Add scallion greens and the reserved sauce mixture and cook, stirring, until thickened, about 45 seconds. Add the tofu and toss to coat.

Notes: Fermented black beans, oxidized soybeans that are salt-dried, have a savory, salty and slightly bitter flavor. They are frequently used in Chinese stir-fries, marinades and sauces. Before using, they should be soaked in water for 10 to 30 minutes to get rid of excess salt. When purchasing fermented black beans, look for shiny and firm beans (avoid dull and dry beans with salt spots). Once open, store airtight in the refrigerator for up to 1 year.

Black bean-garlic sauce, made from pureed salted and fermented black soybeans, is a widely used condiment in Chinese cooking and can be found with the Asian food in most supermarkets.

Chinese five-spice powder is a blend of cinnamon, cloves, fennel seed, star anise and Szechuan peppercorns. Look for it in the spice section of the supermarket or with other Asian ingredients.

A blend of ground chiles, garlic and vinegar, chile-garlic sauce is commonly used to add heat and flavor to Asian soups, sauces and stir-fries. It can be found in the Asian section of large supermarkets (sometimes labeled as chili-garlic sauce or paste) and keeps up to 1 year in the refrigerator.

Shao Hsing (or Shaoxing) is a seasoned rice wine available in most Asian specialty markets and the Asian sections of some larger supermarkets.

Sake is a dry, Japanese rice wine generally available where other wines are sold.

People with celiac disease or gluten-sensitivity should use soy sauces that are labeled "gluten-free," as soy sauce may contain wheat or other gluten-containing sweeteners and flavors.


For the Tofu

14.5 oz extra-firm tofu cut into cubes
1/4 cup cornstarch or rice flour
2 tablespoons oil &ndash I used sesame oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Kung Pao Sauce

1/4 cup soy sauce
1 tablespoon hoisin sauce 15 ml
1 tablespoon rice vinegar 15 ml
1 teaspoon chili garlic sauce or sriracha or any hot sauce, 5 ml, adjust to taste
1 tablepoon toasted sesame oil 15 ml
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch or rice flour

Vegetable for Stir-Fry

4-5 whole dried red chilies or more to taste
1 tablespoon grated garlic
1 tablespoon grated ginger
1 medium green pepper cut in squares
1 medium red pepper cut in squares
1 medium shallot quartered
2-3 stalks green onion chopped
1/4 cup roasted peanuts

Skip the take out and make this incredibly easy and delicious homemade kung pao tofu. The crispy tofu and colorful veggies tossed in absolutely perfect sauce. You will love this most flavorful, versatile meatless meal.




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Cooking tips for how to make ground pork and eggplant stir fry:

  • Add chili peppers to your spiciness (1-3 or more)
  • Use can mince lean pork or use ground pork. I prefer ground pork because it is easier.
  • Use Chinese eggplants instead of regular eggplants with thicker skin because they are bitter and not taste good.
  • Wash and cut eggplants into wider strips and add some vegetables oil to pan fried them start with the skin part first and cover with a lid. Then, cook for a minute and flip them and cook another minute.
  • Cook ground pork and make the sauce, then add the cooked eggplants, so the eggplants are not over cooked and still maintains it’s nice purple color.

How to pick a good eggplant?

Don’t pick them if they are wrinkle, have little brown spots on the skin or soft spots (not firm) when you squeeze them slightly.

How long can you store eggplants?

It doesn’t last long. The best is to wrap with newspapers and refrigerate them, so it can last for 5-7 days.

Cooking process

Cooking chili garlic shrimp is so easy. All you need to do is:

  1. Coat the marinated shrimp with cornstarch and flour
  2. Pan fry the shrimp until crispy
  3. Saute the ginger
  4. Pour in the sauce and thicken it, then add back the shrimp

NOTE: coat the shrimp with cornstarch and flour right before cooking. It will keep the coating extra crispy and crunchy.

TIP: Set your rice cooker to steam some white rice, which goes perfectly with the shrimp as it soaks in that sensational sauce, and you’ll have a well-rounded, totally satisfying dinner on your table.

Crispy shrimp without deep frying

You don’t even need a wok for this. I prefer a medium-sized skillet. This shallow-fry technique gives you that crispy texture for these chili garlic shrimp while using much less oil. It’s a healthier version of the takeout delight, one that will surely brighten up your meal.

More Chinese takeout recipes

Need a more complete Chinese takeout-at-home experience? Make these simple dishes below to serve with the chili garlic shrimp:

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