Prep Time: 5 Mins
These eggplant noodles are spicy and full of ginger flavour, so comforting and warm. Since it’s been raining a lot lately, I’ve been harvesting many eggplants, perfect for this dish! For lazy people like me, one-pan dishes are the best. Less dishes = more time for chillaxing.
This eggplant noodles recipe is a lot less finicky than the traditional Sichuan Eggplant (鱼香茄子) recipe because we are just gonna stew everything in one pan. But don’t worry, it’s just as tasty!
You can choose whatever type of noodle you want to use in this recipe. Basically, the noodles determine if this dish is going to be gluten-free. If you are planning to use dried rice noodles, make sure you follow my instructions on How To Cook Dried Rice Noodles Without Despair up to Step 3 before adding the rice noodles to the pan.
Fresh noodles are the quickest to cook taking about 5 minutes, while dried noodles are the slowest taking about 10 minutes. Add extra water to the pan as required.
My favourite doubanjiang (fermented chilli bean sauce) is Pixian from Sichuan. We Chinese can be very particular about our condiments, so here is a very in-depth article about this particular brand of doubanjiang. If you can’t get Pixian, the most easily-accessible brand is Lee Kum Kee, which should be in all major supermarkets.
The chilli bean sauce on the left is the most authentic brand, Pixian from Sichuan, China. This is the one I like to use when I can get it. The one on the right is probably the easiest to find anywhere in the world, Lee Kum Kee from Hong Kong.
Mix all the sauce ingredients together in a bowl.
Slice the eggplant into thumb-lengths and about finger thickness. Mince the garlic, ginger and spring onion whites. Mince the Meat Magic or vegan protein. Keep the spring onion greens for garnish later.
Heat 3 tbsp of oil in a non-stick pan over medium meat. We are using a bit more oil because eggplant loves to drink oil. Add the ginger, garlic, spring onion whites in the pan and toss briefly.
Add the vegan mince and fry for about a minute.
Add the eggplant and the sauce. Turn the heat up to high and toss it all, mixing well, for about a minute. The eggplant should be slightly softened by now.
Add enough water to cover the eggplant completely. When it comes to boil, turn the heat back down to medium and cover pan with a lid. Cook for about 8 minutes.
Move the eggplants to the side and add your noodles to the soup in the centre. Depending on your noodles, you may need to add extra water.
This is the noodle I used. Because it is actually dried and not fresh, I needed to add about an extra cup of water to the pan.
Stew until noodles are cooked and the sauce is almost, but not completely, dry. Fresh noodles should take about 5 minutes and dried noodles about 8-10 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste, if required.