Chinese Braised Eggplant

Chinese Braised Eggplant and Green Sauce is a twist on that famed French classic, Ratatouille.

 My recipe includes the same eggplant, tomatoes, onions, green peppers, but with a twist, adding a basil and garlic green sauce.

  Chinese Braised Eggplant

Ratatouille is very popular in the southern Provinces of France, the region bordering Italy once belonging to the Roman Empire until the end of the 15th century when it was surrendered to King Louis XI of France.

The cooking style of this Provence is a fusion of classic French and Italian cuisine, expressing a strong Mediterranean style.

Pixar’s animated film ” Ratatouille “ has brought this classic dish into the limelight in recent times.

The theme of ratatouille as the classic Provencal cuisine of simple vegetables, yet rich and homely, evoking blissful childhood memories, is the epitome of good food.

Ratatouille generally uses a lot of ingredients and preparation can be complicated (each ingredient must be cooked separately to ensure that each of the vegetables is just right) which is not so easy.

I have a simplified version for you today.

Although I have omitted some ingredients, this has not compromised the flavor at all, on the contrary, it is still way up there with the best.

Surprise your palate with all the individual flavors of the green sauce, tomatoes, peppers, onions, and eggplant, and yet still experience the unique combined flavors of ratatouille which we have come to know and love.

I can’t wait to share my version of ratatouille; it’s so delicious!

Ingredients:

  • 500 g eggplant
  • 500 g tomatoes (about 3)
  • 75 ml onion, diced (about 40g)
  • 1 green pepper, diced, 75ml (about 40 grams)
  • 6-7 large leaves fresh basil
  • 1 clove garlic
  • olive oil for frying
  • salt
  • 2 sprigs parsley, chopped for garnish

Step 1
Prepare the eggplant. Peel the skin with a knife.

Chinese Braised Eggplant step1
Dice the eggplant into 2 cm cubes.

Chinese Braised Eggplant step2
Put the chopped eggplant into a large shallow dish and sprinkle about 2 teaspoons of salt.

Chinese Braised Eggplant step3
Mix the eggplant and salt with your hands and place it aside for 30 minutes. The pickling process removes the bitterness of the eggplant and makes it easy to cook.

Unsalted eggplant is soft and porous, which will cause it to absorb oil when cooked. After pickling, the oil absorption capacity drops by half.

You can also put the eggplant in brine but this will only reduce the oil absorption capacity to about a 1/3 and will produce an inferior flavor.

Chinese Braised Eggplant step4

Step 2
Prepare the onion, green pepper, and tomatoes. Dice the onion into 2-3 mm cubes. Measure by placing the chopped onion in a measuring cup which is about 75 ml (approx. 40 g). Dicing onion is a basic skill used in western cookery, detailed in this blog post.

Likewise, dice the green peppers to the same size as the onion. Trim off the white membrane from the green pepper and discard.

Chinese Braised Eggplant step5

First slice the green pepper thinly, and then dice.

Chinese Braised Eggplant step6

Many Provencal dishes require tomatoes to be peeled. Peeling reduces the moisture in the dish and enhances the flavor of the tomatoes.

Fill a small saucepan with 1.5 liters of water, and bring to the boil. Place 1-2 tomatoes into the boiling water for 10 seconds to loosen the skins, making it easy to peel off.

If part of the tomato floats above the surface, push it back under the water with your slotted spoon.

Chinese Braised Eggplant step7

Remove the tomatoes and cut out the pedicle (the part where the stalk was attached)

Chinese Braised Eggplant step8

Peel off the tomato skin.Chinese Braised Eggplant step9

Cut the tomato horizontallyChinese Braised Eggplant step10

and squeeze out tomato seeds just as you would with an orange or lemon.

Don’t throw away the juice – it is delicious mixed with a little sugar and makes a nice snack while you’re busy cooking!

Chinese Braised Eggplant step11

Ratatouille uses only the tomato shell. Dice the tomato to the same size as the onion and pepper.

Pay special attention to the tomato’s “Arctic” and “Antarctica” areas which are firmer and take longer to cook.

Chinese Braised Eggplant step12

Step 3

In a small pan (mine is 18 cm), slightly warmed up, pour a tablespoon (15 ml) of olive oil and fry the onion and green pepper, stirring constantly.

When they begin to sizzle, reduce to low and continue to stir fry 10-15 minutes until the onion is soft and translucent. Do not brown.

Chinese Braised Eggplant step13

Pour in the diced tomatoes, cover and simmer for 5 minutes, to exude the moisture in the tomatoes.

The heat must be strictly controlled, so the tomatoes do not exude too much water.

Remove the lid and continue to cook for another 5 minutes, to then allow some evaporation from the tomatoes.

Chinese Braised Eggplant step14

Step 4

And now for the pièce de résistance! While you’re waiting for the veggies to cook, prepare the green sauce. First, stack the basil leaves and cut off the stems.Chinese Braised Eggplant step15
Roll them up and slice finely.

Chinese Braised Eggplant step16

Grind the basil and minced garlic with your mortar and pestle, into a smooth and uniform paste.

Chinese Braised Eggplant step17

Step 5

Drain the pickled eggplant and pat dry well between paper towels so when they are added to the pan, no oil will react with the water causing splashing.Chinese Braised Eggplant step18Chinese Braised Eggplant step19

In a heavy based non-stick pan, preheated for 2 minutes, add some olive oil to a depth of about 3 mm. Put the eggplant into the pan and cook it in a single layer.

If there is too much eggplant to do this, you can cook it in two batches. The eggplant takes about 8-10 minutes to cook.

Turn gently to maintain the eggplant’s shape, and cook on all sides. It is ready when it is soft and golden.

Chinese Braised Eggplant step20

Next add the fried onion, pepper and tomato mixture, stirring evenly on low for 10 minutes to reduce the liquid and let the flavors of the different ingredients penetrate each other.

Now and then, gently flip and turn the mixture (a silicon spoon works well), always being careful not to break up the shape of the eggplant as it softens.Chinese Braised Eggplant step21

Taste and add salt to your liking. Turn off the heat and stir in the green sauce. The braised eggplant with green sauce is done and ready to eat!Chinese Braised Eggplant step22

Serve with a sprinkle of chopped parsley and enjoy this wonderful comfort food!

Chinese Braised Eggplant

This dish goes great with rice or as a side with your favorite meat. This meal can be stored in the refrigerator (but I doubt it will make it to the refrigerator!) for a couple of days.

When you are ready to eat it, add fresh tomatoes and stir fry to restore the delicious taste.

Here are the other eggplant recipes:

Yu Xiang Eggplant -Szechuan Eggplant

Japanese Eggplant Stir Fried

14 Chinese Eggplant Recipes You Should Try (Asian Style)

Chinese Braised Eggplant

Chinese Braised Eggplant

Chinese Braised Eggplant and Green Sauce is a twist on that famed French classic, Ratatouille. My recipe includes the same eggplant, tomatoes, onions, green peppers, but with a twist, adding a basil and garlic green sauce.
No ratings yet
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Chinese
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 2

Ingredients

  • 500 g eggplant
  • 500 g tomatoes about 3
  • 75 ml onion diced (about 40g)
  • 1 green pepper diced, 75ml (about 40 grams)
  • 6-7 large leaves fresh basil
  • 1 clove garlic
  • olive oil for frying
  • salt
  • 2 sprigs parsley chopped for garnish

Instructions

  • Prepare the eggplant. Peel the skin with a knife.

Prepare the onion, green pepper, and tomatoes.

  • Dice the onion into 2-3 mm cubes. Measure by placing the chopped onion in a measuring cup which is about 75 ml (approx. 40 g). Dicing onion is a basic skill used in western cookery, detailed in this blog post.
  • Likewise, dice the green peppers to the same size as the onion. Trim off the white membrane from the green pepper and discard.
  • First slice the green pepper thinly, and then dice.
  • Fill a small saucepan with 1.5 liters of water, and bring to the boil. Place 1-2 tomatoes into the boiling water for 10 seconds to loosen the skins, making it easy to peel off.
  • If part of the tomato floats above the surface, push it back under the water with your slotted spoon.
  • Remove the tomatoes and cut out the pedicle (the part where the stalk was attached)
  • Peel off the tomato skin.
  • Cut the tomato horizontally.
  • Squeeze out tomato seeds just as you would with an orange or lemon. Don’t throw away the juice – it is delicious mixed with a little sugar and makes a nice snack while you’re busy cooking!
  • Ratatouille uses only the tomato shell. Dice the tomato to the same size as the onion and pepper. Pay special attention to the tomato’s “Arctic” and “Antarctica” areas which are firmer and take longer to cook.
  • In a small pan (mine is 18 cm), slightly warmed up, pour a tablespoon (15 ml) of olive oil and fry the onion and green pepper, stirring constantly. When they begin to sizzle, reduce to low and continue to stir fry 10-15 minutes until the onion is soft and translucent. Do not brown.
  • Pour in the diced tomatoes, cover and simmer for 5 minutes, to exude the moisture in the tomatoes. The heat must be strictly controlled, so the tomatoes do not exude too much water.
  • Remove the lid and continue to cook for another 5 minutes, to then allow some evaporation from the tomatoes.

And now for the pièce de résistance! 

  • While you’re waiting for the veggies to cook, prepare the green sauce. First, stack the basil leaves and cut off the stems.
  • Roll them up and slice finely.
  • Grind the basil and minced garlic with your mortar and pestle, into a smooth and uniform paste.
  • Drain the pickled eggplant and pat dry well between paper towels so when they are added to the pan, no oil will react with the water causing splashing.
  • In a heavy based non-stick pan, preheated for 2 minutes, add some olive oil to a depth of about 3 mm. Put the eggplant into the pan and cook it in a single layer.
  • If there is too much eggplant to do this, you can cook it in two batches. The eggplant takes about 8-10 minutes to cook. Turn gently to maintain the eggplant’s shape, and cook on all sides. It is ready when it is soft and golden.
  • Next add the fried onion, pepper and tomato mixture, stirring evenly on low for 10 minutes to reduce the liquid and let the flavors of the different ingredients penetrate each other.
  • Now and then, gently flip and turn the mixture (a silicon spoon works well), always being careful not to break up the shape of the eggplant as it softens.
  • Taste and add salt to your liking. Turn off the heat and stir in the green sauce. The braised eggplant with green sauce is done and ready to eat!
Tried this recipe? Tag me on Instagram!Do you make this recipe? I’d love to see it! Tag me on Instagram at @yumofchina.

Leave a Comment

Recipe Rating