Chinese-style Steamed Eggplant with Soy Sauce and Sesame Oil

[Photograph: Chichi Wang]

About the author: Born in Shanghai and raised in New Mexico, Chichi Wang currently resides in Manhattan, where she divides her time between writing, cooking, and tracking down the best noodles in the city. Visit her blog, Mostly Tripe.

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Chinese-style Steamed Eggplant with Soy Sauce and Sesame Oil

About This Recipe

Yield:serves 4 as an appetizer
Active time:10 minutes
Total time:30 minutes
Special equipment:steamer
This recipe appears in: Chichi's Chinese: On Steamed Eggplant


  • 1 large globe eggplant, or 2 long Chinese or Japanese eggplants
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons light soy sauce
  • 2 to 3 teaspoons Chinkiang rice vinegar, or any other rice vinegar
  • 1 medium clove garlic, minced or grated with a microplane grater (about 1 teaspoon)
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar, or to taste
  • 1 tablespoon tahini (optional)
  • 2 to 3 teaspoons chili oil (optional)
  • Finely chopped scallions or cilantro
  • Toasted sesame seeds


  1. 1

    Halve eggplants and place in a steamer. Steam until flesh feels soft and saturated with moisture, about 20 minutes. Remove from steamer and let cool. When the eggplants are cool enough to handle, scoop out the flesh in long segments, leaving out as best you can the pockets of seeds in the eggplant.

  2. 2

    Meanwhile, whisk together olive oil, sesame oil, soy sauce, vinegar, garlic, 1/2 teaspoon salt, sugar, tahini, and chili oil. Toss the eggplant in the dressing, then taste add more salt, sugar, or vinegar as desired. Garnish with scallions, cilantro, and/or toasted sesame seeds.


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