Chinese eggplant & minced pork with garlic sauce is one of my absolute favorite dishes to inhale with a fresh bowl of rice (maybe two)!
When you have this delicious dish at a Chinese restaurant, they’re most likely flash-frying the eggplants to achieve the signature creamy texture. An easy way to achieve this at home without frying is actually to steam them!
Why you should try Chinese eggplants -- especially for this dish!
Compared to American (globe) eggplants, Chinese eggplants have fewer seeds so are less bitter, have thinner skin, are more mild in taste, are more tender, and absorb sauce more easily. No need to soak these in salt water like you see in some recipes for eggplants!
Japanese and Italian eggplants can be subbed if you can’t find Chinese eggplants. If you can’t find any of the above and must use American eggplants, I recommend removing some seeds to reduce bitterness, and steaming them for an extra few minutes to get more of a similar texture to Chinese eggplants.
How to make Chinese eggplant & minced pork with garlic sauce in FIVE easy steps:
Step 1: Prepare and steam the eggplants
Wash the eggplants, then slice off the top stems.
Slice lengthwise, then into ~3 inch wedges.
Steam the eggplants for 10 minutes or until they're soft, but not mushy.
Step 2: While eggplant steams, prepare the aromatics
While eggplant steams, mince the ginger and garlic.
Slice the scallions, separating the white and green parts.
(optional) Slice the Thai chilis, if using, and remove seeds to reduce the level of heat, if preferred.
Step 3: Mix together all the sauce ingredients
Step 4: Cook the aromatics and ground pork
Stir-fry the aromatics with oil until fragrant, then add the ground pork.
Step 5: Pour in the sauce and mix with the eggplants
Once the pork is golden and cooked through, mix the sauce to dissolve any settled cornstarch and add it to the pan.
Mix in the eggplants, garnish with scallion greens, and you're done!
You may also like these other popular Chinese takeout recipes:
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Chinese Eggplant & Minced Pork with Garlic Sauce
- 2 Chinese eggplants
- 4 oz ground pork (ideally 80/20 lean to fat ratio)
- 4-5 cloves garlic
- 1 tablespoon minced ginger
- 2 stalks scallions
- 3 Thai chilis; can lessen or sub red pepper for no spicy
- 1 tablespoon neutral oil for cooking
- sesame seeds for garnish (optional)
Prepare and steam the eggplants
- Wash the eggplants, and slice off the top stem. Then slice in half lengthwise and into 3 inch wedges. Set a timer for 10 min and steam the eggplants until they have a soft texture, but not mushy.2 Chinese eggplants
- While eggplant steams, mince ginger and garlic. Slice scallions thinly and separate the white and green parts. Slice the Thai red chilis thinly (for less spicy, use fewer chilis or remove most of the seeds).4-5 cloves garlic, 1 tablespoon minced ginger, 2 stalks scallions, 3 Thai chilis; can lessen or sub red pepper for no spicy
Mix the sauce ingredients
- Mix together all the sauce ingredients (see above). After 10 min, remove eggplant from pan.2 tablespoon light soy sauce, 1 tablespoon Shaoxing cooking wine, ½ tablespoon Chinese black vinegar, ½ tablespoon spicy chili crisp, ½ tablespoon toasted sesame oil, 2 teaspoon cornstarch, 1.5 teaspoon sugar, 6 tablespoon water
Cook the pork & mix with the eggplants
- On a medium heat pan, add oil, minced ginger, minced garlic, scallions (whites only), and chilis. Stir fry 2 min or until fragrant. Add ground pork and stir fry about 3-4 min or until golden.4 oz ground pork, 1 tablespoon neutral oil for cooking
- Stir the sauce to mix any settled cornstarch and add to the pan. Gently scrape the bottom to lift any sticky bits that may have formed.
- Cook 30 sec or until sauce thickens. Add steamed eggplant, mix well, and garnish with scallions and sesame seeds. Serve with rice!sesame seeds for garnish