This Sweet and Spicy Braised Eggplant is tender and saucy. Adjust the spice to your taste and serve over coconut rice for a tasty dinner!
I recently ate an eggplant dish out at a restaurant and I wanted to try to recreate it. It was sticky, spicy and a whole lot saucy. Well, this is my rendition of that dish, and I have to say I like mine more. Less oil, but plenty of flavor. If you think you don't like eggplant, I ask you to try this recipe first. It is so delicious and incredibly tender.
How to make Sweet and Spicy Braised Eggplant
The first step is browning the eggplant. I like to do this in 2 batches. Brown the first batch, push it to the side, then add the rest. While the eggplant is browning, prep the sauce.
Combine soy sauce, rice vinegar, agave, sesame oil, red pepper flakes, garlic, ginger and broth in a bowl. Give it a whisk, then add it to the pot with the eggplant. Lower the heat and cover for 10 minutes. The eggplant will get super tender and the sauce will start to reduce.
After 10 minutes, add a cornstarch slurry to the mix and let the sauce thicken for a couple of minutes. And that's it! You are ready to eat!
How to serve Sweet and Spicy Braised Eggplant
I decided to serve this eggplant with my Coconut Rice recipe. If you haven't tried this rice, you need to! It is buttery, garlicky goodness. And it puts regular rice to shame. But you could always keep it simple and go with plain steamed rice.
Be sure to load each bowl with some of the eggplant sauce in the pot and top with plenty of green onions!
Need more recipe inspo? Check these out:
Sweet and Spicy Braised Eggplant
FOR THE SAUCE
- ¼ cup low sodium soy sauce or tamari
- 2 tbsp sesame oil
- 1 tbsp rice vinegar
- 2 tsp red pepper flakes or to taste
- ½ cup broth I used miso ginger broth
- 3 cloves garlic diced
- 1 inch fresh ginger diced
- 1 tbsp agave or maple syrup
FOR THE EGGPLANT
- 2 tbsp oil
- 1 large eggplant cut in 1" pieces
- 1 tsp cornstarch
- 2 tbsp basil chopped, plus more for serving
- green onion diced, for serving
- coconut rice or plain rice, for serving
- Combine all of the sauce ingredients and set aside.
- Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add half of the eggplant and cook until browned slightly on both sides (approx. 2-3 minutes). Push to the side and add the rest of the eggplant. Brown them the same way. Mix all of the pieces together and add the sauce. Lower the heat, cover and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Combine the cornstarch with 1 tsp of water and mix until dissolved. Add to the pot and cook for an additional 2 minutes, or until the sauce is slightly thickened. Add basil and stir.
- Serve the eggplant over rice - being sure to spoon some of the leftover sauce from the pot over top. Top with green onion and basil and enjoy!
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