Easy Eggplant Stir Fry with Miso Sauce
This easy eggplant stir fry is made with Japanese eggplant in just 20 minutes for a delicious side dish.
About the Recipe
This recipe features soft and tender eggplant stir fried in a sticky miso sauce for an easy, flavourful side dish you’ll need just 20 minutes to make.
It calls for Japanese eggplant, sometimes called Chinese or Asian eggplant, though you can use regular eggplant if needed.
If you’re new to cooking with eggplant, this recipe is a great introduction to this wonderful, nutritious veggie and perfect for eggplant lovers too.
This Thai Basil Eggplant is also a delicious eggplant dish to try. Eggplant stir fry pairs makes a tasty side dish with Red Curry Noodles, Spicy Miso Noodles, Vegan Tofu Pad Thai or Vegan Drunken Noodles.
- Miso Paste: The recipe calls for white miso paste but you can technically use any variety. The darker the miso, the stronger the flavour. I’ve also made it with red miso paste.
- Soy Sauce: Regular soy sauce or use low-sodium soy sauce if needed. For a gluten-free recipe, use gluten-free tamari or coconut aminos.
- Rice Vinegar: You can use seasoned or unseasoned rice vinegar.
- Red Pepper Flakes: For some heat. You can substitute 1-2 thinly sliced Thai chilis, up to 1 tsp cayenne pepper or up to 1 tbsp sambal oelek or sriracha, depending on how spicy you’d like it. This may also be reduced or omitted if you’re sensitive to spice.
- Sugar: You can use brown sugar, light brown sugar, coconut sugar or maple syrup. The sweetened is optional but I preferred the sauce with just a bit of sweetness.
- Oil: Use a neutral cooking oil such as avocado oil or grape seed oil. Olive oil is also fine.
- Japanese Eggplant: The long skinny ones!
- Green Onion: You’ll need both the whites and greens of about 6-8 green onions (scallions).
Please see the recipe card at the end of the post for the complete ingredient list with measurements.
Step 1: In a small bowl, stir together the miso paste, soy sauce, vinegar, chili flakes and 2 tbsp of water. If you’re using sugar, add that as well.
Whisk together until it’s fully combined and set aside for now.
Step 2: Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet or wok over medium-high heat. The larger the better so the eggplant has some room.
When the pan is hot, add the eggplant pieces and green onion whites. Cook them for 8-10 minutes, flipping the pieces occasionally, until the eggplant is tender and golden-brown on all sides.
If you don’t have a large skillet, it’s suggested to cook the eggplant in two batches using 1 tbsp oil per batch. Cook the first batch, remove from the pan and add another tablespoon of oil, then cook the second batch.
Step 3: Add the ginger and garlic to the pan and cook for another minute, stirring often.
Step 4: Reduce the heat to medium and add the stir-fry sauce. Cook for another 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly, until the eggplant absorbs the sauce.
You can add 1-2 tbsp water if you want it saucier.
Serve your eggplant drizzled with sesame oil and topped with the remaining green onions and sesame seeds.
You can, however, Japanese, or Chinese long eggplant has less seeds, tender skin and a mild, slightly sweet flavour making them perfect for stir fries. If Japanese eggplant isn’t available, simply cut globe eggplant into 1-inch pieces and go ahead and use it in the recipe.
Many recipes will call for salting the eggplant and letting it sit before use to reduce the bitterness and draw out moisture. Japanese eggplant has a mild flavour and it’s not overly bitter so I don’t think this is necessary.
This eggplant stir fry is not gluten-free as written. To make it gluten-free, use coconut aminos or gluten-free tamari instead of soy sauce.
Eggplant stir fry is best enjoyed fresh and hot from the pan but it can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Reheat in a pan or in the microwave until heated through.
I wouldn’t suggest freezing this recipe. It doesn’t make a huge amount so it’s easy to enjoy in one meal or as leftovers the next day.
Serve as a side dish or with cabbage fried rice or mushroom fried rice with crispy tofu or over your choice of white rice or brown rice.
It also be served over noodles like Cold Soba Noodle Salad, Spicy Miso Noodles, ramen noodles or any other noodles you enjoy.
This recipe is easily made gluten-free by using gluten-free tamari or coconut aminos in place of soy sauce. Be sure to check the label of any other ingredients you use, such as the. miso paste and rice vinegar.
- If you don’t have a large pan you may need to cook the eggplant in batches. Giving the eggplant some room to cook allows it to develop a good sear without getting over done by steam.
- To add other veggies to this stir fry, cook the eggplant first and then remove it from the pan. Stir fry your veggies, like cabbage, bell pepper, onion, mushroom or broccoli, then add the eggplant back to the pan with the sauce, mix and heat through.
- If adding other veggies, I would recommend keeping it simple and only adding 1-2 additional veggies and up to 2 cups total. I like broccoli and onion or bell pepper.
More Stir Fries
Did you try this recipe? I’d love to hear about it! Scroll down to the comment section to leave a star rating and review.
This eggplant stir-fry is an easy and delicious 20-minute meal idea. The eggplant is stir fried in a simple sweet and sour sauce for a quick and tasty dish the whole family will love.
- 1 tbsp white miso (20 g)
- 1 tbsp soy sauce or gluten-free tamari (15 mL)
- 1 tbsp rice vinegar (15 mL)
- ½ tsp chili flakes (reduce to ¼ tsp if sensitive to heat)
- 1 tsp coconut sugar, optional*
- 2 tbsp water (30 mL)
- 2 tbsp neutral oil, such as avocado or grape seed oil
- 2 Japanese eggplants, halved lengthwise, then cut diagonally into 3/4-inch pieces (9-10 cups/740 g)
- 3 cloves garlic, minced or grated (20 g)
- 1 tbsp grated ginger (16 g)
- 6–8 green onions, thinly sliced, separating green and whites
- 1 tsp sesame oil, for garnish
- sesame seeds, for garnish
- Combine Sauce: In a small bowl, stir together miso, soy sauce, vinegar, chili flakes, 2 tbsp water and sugar, if using. Whisk until smooth. Set aside.
- Stir Fry Eggplant: In a large wok or skillet, heat oil over medium high heat. When the pan is hot, add eggplant and green onion whites. Cook for 8-10 min, stirring often, until eggplant is tender and golden on all sides.
- Add ginger and garlic. Cook for another 1 min, stirring often, until fragrant.
- Reduce heat to medium, then add sauce. Cook for 1-2 min, stirring constantly, until eggplant absorbs the sauce.
- Serve: Transfer to a platter. Drizzle with sesame oil. Sprinkle with remaining green onions and sesame seeds, if desired.
I like the sauce with just a little sweetness to balance the umami and tangy flavour with a slightly sweet flavor. It is optional. You can use coconut sugar, maple syrup, brown sugar or light brown sugar.
If you do not have a skillet that’s large enough so the eggplant pieces aren’t overcrowded, cook the eggplant in two batches, using 1 tablespoon of oil per batch. Cook the first batch, remove from the pan, heat another 1 tbsp oil and cook remaining eggplant.
- Serving Size: 1
- Calories: 121
- Sugar: 4 g
- Sodium: 149 mg
- Fat: 10 g
- Carbohydrates: 9 g
- Fiber: 2 g
- Protein: 2 g
Keywords: eggplant stir fry