We’re celebrating the Chinese New Year this month and this is a Chinese dish which brings me particularly happy memories.

Chinese aubergines with garlic recipe

This is the Chinese name for this dish

I met my daughter in Shanghai prior to a momentous backpacking journey all around China and Tibet. The day before we set out we had lunch with some of my daughter’s colleagues – I noticed two of them were eating this aubergine mixture and I thought I’d try it.

I was delighted I did – it tastes great and unlike a lot of aubergine dishes it doesn’t take long.

It goes well with all sorts of things – white fish, chicken breasts…I think it would go well with a few toasted pecans and some raisins too.


Serves 3-4


  • 2 aubergines – Japanese ideally because these have no bitterness – halved lengthways and then cut into 1cm/½” semi-circles
  • 2 tbsp rapeseed oil
  • 120ml/½ cup water
  • 1chicken stock cube
  • 4 cloves of garlic, crushed with smoked salt
  • ½ tsp Sichuan flower pepper – crushed in a mortar and pestle
  • 3 tsp maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp rich, dark soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 1 tsp cornflour


  1. Heat the oil, and cook the aubergines, the pepper and the garlic for five minutes or so until beginning to go soft – don’t let the garlic burn
  2. Boil the water in a kettle, measure out and dissolve the stock cube in it
  3. Mix the syrup, cornflour and sauces until the cornflour has dissolved
  4. Add the stock to the aubergines, cover with foil and simmer for about ten minutes until the water is absorbed
  5. Stir the sauce in, and cook until it has thickened – two or three minutes


chinese aubergines with garlic recipe

These aubergines are quick to cook and go with all kinds of things