Vegan Sichuan Braised Eggplant

This is a vegan take on a classic Sichuan dish, the dish is usually made with pork mince but here I’ve substituted that for peanuts which are simmered in the sauce to give a similar soft texture. The signature of the dish along with most Sichuan cooking is intense heat. The heat comes mainly from the la doubanjiang, a paste made from chilli and broad beans.

 As well as this the dish is flavoured with Sichuan pepper. Sichuan pepper is a unique spice, its flavour is citrusy and almost metallic but in addition it causes a tingling, numbing sensation on the lips and tongue which adds a unique experience to Sichuan dishes.

Both Sichuan pepper and la doubanjiang can be difficult to source in Western countries but I was ale to locate them at my local Asian grocer.

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5 from 2 votes

Vegan Sichuan Braised Eggplant

This is a vegan take on a classic Sichuan dish, the dish is usually made with pork mince but here I’ve substituted that for peanuts which are simmered in the sauce to give a similar soft texture. The signature of the dish along with most Sichuan cooking is intense heat.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time2 hrs
Total Time2 hrs 10 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Chinese
Keyword: braised, eggplant, sichuan, vegan
Servings: 4

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons peanut oil
  • 4 small eggplants cut into sixths lengthwise
  • 1 medium brown onion diced
  • 2 medium carrots diced
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon crushed Sichuan peppercorns
  • 1 tablespoon minced ginger
  • 3 cloves garlic crushed
  • 2 tablespoons la doubanjiang (chilli bean paste)
  • ½ cup vegetable stock
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • ¼ cup chin kiang vinegar
  • 1/3 cup roasted peanuts
  • thinly sliced spring onions and chilli to serve
  • fresh coriander to serve
  • steamed rice to serve

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 150°C. Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Place eggplant pieces in batches, cut side down into the oil and cook for 3 minutes then turn and cook a further 3 minutes. Remove from pan.
  • Reduce heat to medium and add the carrot and onion to the pan and sauté for 10 minutes. Stir in the peppercorns, garlic and ginger then sauté a further two minutes. Add in the bean paste and sauté for two minutes.
  • Add the stock, soy, vinegar and peanuts then stir to combine. Submerge the eggplant pieces in the liquid then bring to a boil.
  • Cover and transfer to the oven. Braise for 1 hour then uncover then braise for a further 45 minutes. Transfer to serving dish then top with coriander, chilli and spring onion. Serve with a side of steamed rice.

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