Stir-fried eggplant with garlic-basil sauce recipe

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We love the versatility of eggplant, but its one downfall is that its flesh acts like a sponge, absorbing copious amounts of oil during cooking. We wanted an Asian-inspired stir-fry that starred eggplant but wasn’t weighed down by excessive oil, yet still boasted plenty of flavor. We started by mixing our sauce ingredients, allowing the bright lime zest, savory fish sauce, and spicy pepper flakes to meld together. We used just 2 tablespoons of heart-healthy canola oil and sautéed the eggplant (purposefully leaving the skin on for extra fiber and phytonutrients) with a vitamin C–rich red bell pepper until both softened, letting them brown and take on a deeper, caramelized flavor. We then added the garlic and ginger to the center of the skillet, and let them become fragrant before briefly mingling them with the vegetables. We poured our sauce into the stir-fry and added a final sprinkle of basil and scallions to lend a fresh sweetness to the dish before serving. Do not peel the eggplant: In addition to adding nutrients, leaving the skin on helps it hold together during cooking. Serve with brown rice.

  • Yield: 6 Servings


  • ½ cup water
  • ¼ cup fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons grated lime zest plus 1 tablespoon juice
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • ⅛ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon expeller-pressed canola oil
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
  • 1 pound eggplant, cut into ¾-inch pieces
  • 1 red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and cut into ¼-inch pieces
  • ½ cup fresh basil leaves, torn into rough ½-inch pieces
  • 2 scallions, sliced thin
How to Make It
    For the Sauce
  1. Whisk all ingredients together in bowl.
  2. For the Vegetables
  3. Combine 1 teaspoon oil, garlic, and ginger in bowl. Heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil in 12-inch nonstick skillet over high heat until shimmering. Add eggplant and bell pepper and cook, stirring often, until well browned and tender, 8 to 10 minutes.
  4. Clear center of skillet, add garlic mixture, and cook, mashing mixture into skillet, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir garlic mixture into vegetables. Whisk sauce to recombine, then add to skillet. Cook, stirring constantly, until sauce is thickened, about 30 seconds. Off heat, stir in basil and scallions and serve.
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1
Nutritional Value Per Serving
120 kcal
Calories from Fat:
54 kcal
% Daily Value*
Total Fat
6 g
Trans Fat
0.0 g
470 mg
15 g
Dietary Fiber
3 g
8 g
3 g
* Above mentioned %DVs (Percent Daily Values) are based on 2,000 calorie food intake.

DVs (Daily values) may be vary depending upon individuals daily calorie needs. Above nutritional values are estimates and should only be used as a guide for approximation. They are not recommendations. Calculations are based on average weight of 194 lbs. and ages of 19 to 50 years.

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