Asian simmering aubergine

A warm and comforting dish, perfect for winter

Jane Mason
This makes a wonderful side dish, or a main – served over rice or barley.


  • 2 Aubergines (eggplants) Large
  • 350 g Tofu Firm is best but anything will do
  • 1 bunch Spinach Washed and chopped roughly
  • 4 tbsp Vegetable oil
  • 1.5 tbsp Sichuan style spicy broad bean sauce I use Lee Kum Kee brand, but there are many
  • 2 inches Fresh ginger root 4 cm. Peeled and finely chopped or grated
  • 2 cloves Garlic Peeled and squashed
  • 150 ml Vegetable stock / broth
  • 1 tsp Sugar
  • 1 tsp corn, potato, or rice starch diluted in 1 tbsp water
  • 2 tsp Chinese Chiang King vinegar (if you don't have it, use what you have)
  • 2 Spring onions Green and white parts, finely chopped


Roast the aubergine

  • Preheat the oven to 200 C. Prick the aubergine all over and put it in a roasting tin.  Roast for 40 minutes or until the aubergine is really wrinkly and soft.  Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.

Prepare the spinach

  • Wash the spinach and give it a rough shake.  Pop it in a saucepan and put it in medium low heat.  You do not need more water.  Cover it and cook it for 5-10 minutes until it has wilted.  Place the spinach in a colander in the sink and let it drain.

Prepare everything else

  • Break the tofu by hand and put it in a bowl.
    Place the squashed ginger and garlic in a small bowl.
    Mix the start with the water.
    Chop up the spring onions and put them in a bowl.
    Prepare the stock – you want to use it hot so it does not slow down the cooking time.
    Get the bean sauce, sugar, and vinegar set out on the counter ready to go.
  • When the aubergine is cool enough to handle, cut the tops off and then:
    –      Cut them long wise in half
    –      Cut each long piece into 6 pieces, long wise
    –      Cut each long piece into 3, cross wise so you end up with many strips of aubergine about 4 inches long and ½ inch wide
  • Heat up a wok or deep frying pan on medium before you add the oil.  Add the oil and swirl it around and then add the bean sauce and cook it gently for 1 minute.  Add the sugar, ginger and garlic and cook them gently for 1 minute.
  • Add the stock, give it all a stir, and then add all the vegetables.  Stir everything gently and then add the starch/water mix slowly stirring all the while to thicken the sauce.  Cook this thoroughly for a good3-4 minutes so the sauce does not taste floury.
  • Add the vinegar and the spring onions and give everything agently stir.  Taste for salt and if you need some, please add it.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
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