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Delicious and Healthy Chinese Steamed Brinjal Recipe

Are you on the hunt for a nutritious and meat-free meal that is packed full of taste? Why not give the Chinese-style steamed brinjal recipe a try? Brinjal, also known as eggplant, is a flexible veggie that can be prepared in many ways. Opting to steam it is an excellent choice if you desire a meal that is lower in fat and calories and simple to make.

Eggplants sizzle in a wok as steam rises, Chinese spices fill the air

To make this dish, you'll need to select the right ingredients, including Chinese eggplant, garlic, ginger, and soy sauce. You'll also need to prepare the eggplant by slicing it and sprinkling it with salt to remove any bitterness. Once the eggplant is ready, you can craft the sauce by combining garlic, ginger, soy sauce, and other seasonings. Then, you can assemble the dish by placing the eggplant in a steamer basket and pouring the sauce over it.

If you want to add some extra flavour and nutrition to your steamed brinjal recipe, you can consider adding seafood to the dish. Shrimp or scallops would be a great option, as they pair well with the savoury flavours of the garlic and soy sauce. Just make sure to cook the seafood separately before adding it to the dish.

Key Takeaways

  • Chinese-style steamed brinjal is a healthy and vegetarian dish that's easy to prepare.
  • To make this dish, you'll need to select the right ingredients, prepare the eggplant, craft the sauce, and assemble the dish.
  • You can add seafood to the dish for extra flavour and nutrition, such as shrimp or scallops.

Selecting Ingredients

A hand reaches for fresh brinjal, ginger, garlic, and soy sauce on a kitchen counter. Steam rises from a pot in the background

When it comes to selecting ingredients for your Chinese steam brinjal recipe, there are a few key things to keep in mind. Here are some tips to help you choose the right eggplant and essential seasonings and sauces for your dish.

Choosing the Right Eggplant

The type of eggplant you use can make a big difference in the final flavor and texture of your dish. Chinese eggplants are a popular choice for this recipe, as they are long and thin with tender skin and a sweet, delicate flavor. Japanese eggplants can also be used, but they are shorter and thicker than Chinese eggplants, with a slightly tougher skin and a slightly more bitter flavor.

When selecting your eggplant, look for ones that are firm and free of blemishes or soft spots. You can also test the freshness of the eggplant by pressing your finger gently into the skin - it should spring back without leaving an indentation.

Essential Seasonings and Sauces

To give your steam brinjal dish its signature Chinese flavor, you'll need to use a few essential seasonings and sauces. Garlic, sesame oil, soy sauce, and oyster sauce are all common ingredients in Chinese cooking, and they add depth and complexity to the dish.

Minced garlic and chopped scallions are often used to flavor the eggplant, while ginger and black vinegar can be added to the sauce for a tangy, slightly sweet flavor. Dark soy sauce, rice vinegar, and Chinkiang vinegar are also commonly used in Chinese cooking and can add depth and complexity to the dish.

If you're feeling adventurous, you could also try adding some seafood to your steam brinjal recipe. Shrimp or scallops would be a great choice, as their mild, sweet flavor pairs well with the delicate flavor of the eggplant. Just be sure to cook the seafood thoroughly before adding it to the dish.

Preparing the Eggplant

Eggplant is being sliced and steamed in a Chinese kitchen, surrounded by various spices and ingredients

Before you start cooking your steam brinjal recipe Chinese style, you need to prepare the eggplant. Here are the steps to follow:

Cutting and Soaking

First, wash the eggplant and cut off the top green part. Then, cut the eggplant into 2-inch sections, and then slice each section in half lengthwise.

After slicing, place the eggplant in a bowl of water with a pinch of salt and let it soak for at least 10 minutes. This helps to remove any bitterness from the eggplant and also helps to keep the eggplant from turning brown during the cooking process.

Steaming Process

Once the eggplant has soaked, drain the water and pat dry the eggplant with a paper towel. Then, place the eggplant in a steaming basket and steam for 10-15 minutes until the eggplant is tender.

During the steaming process, you can add seafood such as shrimp or scallops to the steaming basket to add more flavour to the dish. You can also add some sliced garlic and ginger to the eggplant before steaming to enhance the taste.

Steaming is a healthy cooking method that preserves the nutrients in the eggplant, including potassium, calcium and fibre. It also helps to keep the eggplant moist and gives it a tender texture.

Now that you know how to prepare the eggplant, you are ready to move on to the next step in making your delicious steam brinjal recipe Chinese style.

Crafting the Sauce

Eggplants sizzling in a wok with aromatic Chinese spices, creating a cloud of steam as the sauce is being crafted

When it comes to making the perfect sauce for your steamed brinjal, it's all about balancing flavours and creating a velvety texture. Here are some tips to help you craft a delicious sauce that will take your dish to the next level.

Balancing Flavours

To achieve the perfect balance of flavours, you will need to use a combination of sweet, sour, salty, and umami ingredients. Some popular ingredients for a Chinese-style brinjal sauce include soy sauce, oyster sauce, sugar, vinegar, and sesame oil.

For a hint of spice, you can add some chili oil or chili sauce to the mix. If you prefer a milder flavour, you can omit the chili altogether. Garlic sauce can also add a pungent and savoury flavour to the dish.

To add a seafood twist to your sauce, you can use some seafood-based ingredients like oyster sauce or shrimp paste. These ingredients can add a unique flavour and umami taste to your dish.

Creating a Velvety Texture

To create a velvety texture for your sauce, you will need to use cornstarch or potato starch as a thickening agent. Mix the starch with water to create a slurry, and then add it to your sauce. Be sure to whisk the sauce constantly to prevent lumps from forming.

To give your sauce a glossy finish, you can add some vegetable oil or sesame oil. This will also help to enhance the flavour of your sauce.

Finally, garnish your dish with some sesame seeds or chopped spring onions for added texture and flavour.

By following these tips, you can create a delicious and flavourful sauce for your steamed brinjal dish.

Assembling the Dish

Eggplant slices sizzling in a wok with aromatic steam rising, surrounded by bowls of soy sauce, garlic, and ginger

Layering Ingredients

Now that you have prepared the steamed eggplant with garlic sauce, it's time to assemble the dish. Start by layering the eggplant on a plate, followed by the minced pork, ginger, garlic, and red chili. If you prefer a vegetarian option, you can substitute the minced pork with seafood such as shrimp or scallops.

Next, sprinkle some chopped scallions on top of the minced pork, followed by a drizzle of shaoxing wine. This will add a delicate and creamy flavour to the dish.

Final Steaming

Place the plate in a wok and steam for 8-10 minutes until the eggplant is tender and cooked through. Once done, remove the plate from the wok and sprinkle some toasted sesame seeds and cilantro on top.

This steamed brinjal recipe is perfect as an appetizer or a side dish to your main course. The combination of the garlic sauce and the seafood or minced pork will create a unique flavour that will tantalize your taste buds.

So why not try this recipe at home and impress your friends and family with your culinary skills?

Serving and Pairing

A steaming hot brinjal dish is being paired with Chinese spices and sauces, creating a tantalizing aroma and visually appealing presentation


Once your steamed brinjal is ready, you can serve it alongside other delicious dishes to create a complete meal. A popular accompaniment to steamed brinjal is white rice, which can help balance out the spice and add some texture to the meal. You can also pair it with noodles or green beans for a more substantial meal.

If you want to add some protein to the meal, you can consider adding seafood such as shrimp. Shrimp pairs well with the brinjal's flavour and texture, making for a delicious and nutritious meal.

Wine and Beverage Pairings

When it comes to pairing beverages with your steamed brinjal, you have a few options. If you prefer wine, a good choice would be rice wine, which complements the dish's flavours and adds a subtle sweetness. If you prefer something non-alcoholic, you can try pairing it with a light and refreshing green tea, which can help cleanse the palate between bites.

It's worth noting that steamed brinjal can be quite spicy, so if you're sensitive to heat, you may want to avoid pairing it with anything that could exacerbate the spiciness. However, if you enjoy a bit of heat, you can try pairing it with a light beer or a spicy Bloody Mary.

Overall, steamed brinjal is a versatile dish that can be paired with a variety of flavours and textures. With a bit of experimentation, you're sure to find the perfect accompaniments and pairings to suit your taste.

Frequently Asked Questions

A steaming hot pot with sliced brinjal, surrounded by Chinese spices and herbs, emitting a tantalizing aroma

How do you prepare a simple steamed eggplant dish?

To prepare a simple steamed eggplant dish, you'll need to slice the eggplant into thin strips and steam them until they're soft and tender. You can then add your preferred sauce or seasoning to the eggplant.

What's the ideal steaming time for aubergine?

The ideal steaming time for aubergine can vary depending on the size and thickness of the slices. Generally, it takes around 10-15 minutes to steam aubergine until it's fully cooked.

Is there a difference in flavour between Chinese and regular aubergines?

Yes, there is a difference in flavour between Chinese and regular aubergines. Chinese aubergines tend to be longer and thinner, with a slightly sweeter taste and a more delicate texture.

How does one make steamed aubergine with garlic sauce?

To make steamed aubergine with garlic sauce, you can first steam the aubergine until it's soft and tender. Then, mix together garlic, soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, and sesame oil to make the sauce. Drizzle the sauce over the steamed aubergine and serve.

Can you eat the skin on a Chinese aubergine?

Yes, you can eat the skin on a Chinese aubergine. In fact, the skin contains many of the same nutrients as the flesh of the aubergine, so it's a good idea to leave it on.

Are there any health benefits to eating Chinese aubergines?

Yes, there are many health benefits to eating Chinese aubergines. They're low in calories and high in fibre, which can help with digestion and weight loss. They're also a good source of vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C, potassium, and magnesium.

If you're looking to add some seafood to your steamed aubergine dish, you can try adding some shrimp or scallops. Simply steam the seafood along with the aubergine, and then add your preferred sauce or seasoning.