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Soy-glazed pan-fried eggplant sprinkled with crushed peanuts and cilantro on a vintage oval platter on a pink tablecloth

Pan-Fried Eggplant with Soy Glaze

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (15 votes, average: 4.60 out of 5)
  • Author: Alexandra Shytsman
  • Prep Time: 20 mins
  • Cook Time: 20 mins
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: Vegetables
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Asian
  • Diet: Vegan


This flavor-packed pan-fried eggplant recipe is inspired by Chinese and Japanese flavors. Serve hot or at room temp.


  • 3 small eggplants (about 1 1/4 pounds), ends trimmed
  • About 3 tablespoons neutral-tasting cooking oil, like avocado, organic canola, or refined coconut
  • 1/2 medium red onion, thinly sliced* (see note below)
  • 2 medium garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon peeled and minced fresh ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons seasoned rice vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon fish sauce (optional)
  • About 1/4 cup crushed peanuts, for serving*
  • Fresh cilantro, basil, or scallions, for serving


  1. Cut the eggplants into 2-inch chunks. Place a layer of eggplant into a colander and sprinkle liberally with salt. Continue layering and salting each layer. Set aside for 15 to 30 minutes.
  2. When the eggplant looks sweaty, transfer it to a kitchen towel and pat dry.
  3. Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add enough oil to coat the bottom. Arrange half of the eggplant in a single layer in the skillet and cover tightly with a lid. Cook until golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes, then flip and brown the other side. Remove from the skillet and cook the second batch, adding more oil as needed. Remove all the eggplant and set aside.
  4. Add more oil to the skillet if needed. Add the onion and cook until it’s slightly softened and browned, about 2 minutes. Then add 2 minced garlic cloves, 1 tablespoon minced ginger, and 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, and cook for 30 seconds more.
  5. Add 2 tablespoons soy sauce, 2 teaspoons each vinegar and sesame oil, and 1 teaspoon fish sauce (if using). Add the eggplant back in and toss to coat. Transfer to a serving platter and sprinkle with peanuts and cilantro.


  • You can sub with white onion or shallots.
  • You can sub peanuts with roasted cashews. If you’re allergic to nuts, garnish with toasted sesame seeds instead.


  • Serving Size: 1/4 of the recipe
  • Calories: 170
  • Carbohydrates: 9.7 g
  • Fiber: 5.5 g
  • Protein: 3.1 g

Keywords: eggplant, chinese, japanese, ginger, red onion

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