Mapo Eggplant is a spin on the famous Szechuan Mapo Tofu. This adaptation is less spicy but does not lack in flavor. The delectable spicy black bean sauce includes ground pork, diced mushroom, and water chestnuts for an added crunch.
Mapo Eggplant is a spin on the Szechuan classic Mapo Tofu. Silky roasted eggplant is topped with a slightly spicy and garlicky bean sauce with ground pork, mushrooms and water chestnuts for an added crunch.
Mapo Tofu is one of my favorite Szechuan dishes. I thought I would use eggplant in place of tofu and the results were amazing! The eggplant is roasted right in the wok and adds a depth of flavor that cannot be replicated with tofu.
How to Prepare Mapo Eggplant
A good rule to follow when preparing any kind of stir-fried dish is to prepare the sauce first. If you like your dishes really saucy, feel free to double this sauce recipe.
Stir well to break up the cornstarch clumps.
Slice the eggplants in half horizontally, then cut each half into 3/4 inch pieces at a slight angle. I recommend using the long Chinese, Japanese or Italian eggplant, but you can also use the larger eggplant if you are not able to find the long variety.
You’ll need approximately 1 pound of sliced eggplants for this recipe.
Heat 3 tablespoons of cooking oil in a wok over medium-high heat. When the wok starts to smoke slightly, toss in the eggplant.
Keep tossing the eggplant with your wok spatula every so often to prevent it from burning. It can take a few minutes for the eggplant to soften (it took about 8 minutes for this batch). You’re essentially roasting the eggplant in your wok!
As soon as the eggplant has softened, remove it from the wok and set it aside.
Add just a splash of cooking oil to the wok, then stir-fry 2 cloves of garlic (minced) just till aromatic.
Add 1/2 a pound of ground pork to the wok, and stir-fry till the pork is fully cooked.
Add 1/2 cup of finely diced mushroom (only about 1 – 2 large button mushrooms is all it takes to yield about 1/2 a cup), and 1/4 cup finely diced water chestnuts. Stir to combine.
Next, it is time to add the sauce. The cornstarch will have settled at the bottom by now so give it a good stir, then pour the sauce into the wok.
As soon as the sauce has thickened, scoop the sauce mixture out of the wok and on to the eggplant.
Garnish with chopped scallions and sliced fresh red chili if desired.
Serve with steamed rice.
- 2 teaspoons soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon chili black bean paste
- 1 teaspoon oyster sauce
- 1 teaspoon brown sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 pound eggplant cut into bite-sized pieces
- 3 tablespoons cooking oil
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1/2 lb ground pork
- 1/2 cup mushroom finely diced
- 1/4 cup water chestnuts finely diced
- 2 stalks scallions chopped
- 1 red chili sliced (optional)
- Prepare the sauce by combining soy sauce, chili black bean paste, oyster sauce, brown sugar, cornstarch and water. Stir well to break up the cornstarch clumps.
- Heat cooking oil in a wok over medium-high heat. When the wok starts to smoke slightly, toss in the eggplant.
- Allow the eggplant to roast in the wok (approx. 8 minutes), flipping it every so often to prevent it from burning. As soon as the eggplant has softened, remove it from the wok and set it on a serving plate.
- Add a splash of cooking oil to the wok, then stir-fry garlic just until aromatic.
- Add ground pork, then stir-fry till fully cooked.
- Add mushroom and water chestnuts. Stir to combine.
- Give the sauce a good stir, then pour the sauce into the wok.
- As soon as the sauce has thickened, remove it from the wok and pour it over the eggplant.
- Garnish with scallions and sliced red chili. Serve immediately with steamed rice.