fish fragrant fairy tale eggplant on long white plate

Fish Fragrant Fairytale Eggplant - Vegan

These little purple Tinkerbells are an eggplant fairytale come true. Stir-fried here with a "fish fragrant" sauce that is all vegan and anything but fishy. Substitute with Chinese or Japanese eggplant, if you can't find these small ones. 
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Chinese
Keyword eggplant, sichuan
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 159kcal
Author Asian Test Kitchen


  • 1 lb Fairy Tale eggplant stems removed
  • 1/4 c plus 1 Tb cooking oil
  • 1 tsp minced ginger
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 ea sliced green onion separate white and green part
  • 1 Tb Chinese fermented red chili bean paste
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1 Tb rice wine or dry sherry


  • Heat 1/4 c oil in a pan on medium high heat. Add eggplant and cook 2-3 minutes on both sides until tender.  
  • Transfer eggplant to a plate. Drain oil and add 1 Tb back to the cooking pan over medium heat. Stir-fry ginger, garlic, and white part of the green onion for about 1 minute. 
  • Add eggplant to the pan along with the chili bean paste, soy sauce, sugar, and rice wine. Stir-fry for 1-2 minutes for flavors to combine. Garnish with the sliced green tops of the green onion. 


  1. Sadly, eggplant will not retain it's bright purple color unless you fry it in oil.  However, you can try the sheet pan option. Drizzle with 3 Tb of oil and bake at 375 degrees F for 10-15 minutes until completely cooked through.  Then stir fry from step 2. 
  2. Use a long thin eggplant such as Chinese, Japanes, or Filipino varietals if you can't find the fairy tale sized ones.  Slice 1/2" thick and use the same method to pan fry or bake on a sheet pan before stir frying with the sauce. 
  3. Make this dish ahead of time and store in the fridge up to 3 days.
  4. Try this same recipe with green beans or firm tofu.
This recipe is adapted from "Yan-kit's Classic Chinese Cookbook" by Yan-kit So.  The quantity and number of ingredients have been altered to exclude rice wine vinegar and wood ear mushrooms. 


Calories: 159kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Sodium: 87mg | Potassium: 275mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 25IU | Vitamin C: 3.4mg | Calcium: 10mg | Iron: 0.3mg