This easy eggplant stir fry is made with Japanese eggplant in just 20 minutes for a delicious side dish.

Close up of stir fried eggplant with green onion and sesame seeds in a bowl.

About the Recipe

This recipe features gooey, sticky, soft and tender eggplant stir fried in a simple sweet and sour sauce for an easy, flavourful 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!

What You’ll Need

All the ingredients needed for a vegan Japanese eggplant stir fry recipe.
  • 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.
  • Chili Flakes: For some heat. You can substitute 1 tsp sambal oelek or sriracha.
  • 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.
  • Japanese Eggplant: The long skinny ones!
  • Green Onion: You’ll need both the whites and greens of about 6-8 green onions (scallions).
  • Garlic & Ginger: Fresh/raw garlic and ginger and best for this recipe.
  • Sesame Oil: Optional for a garnish.
  • Sesame Seeds: Optional for a garnish.

How to Make (with Photos)

Step 1: Mix the Sauce

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.

A soy-based sauce with chili flakes in it in a small bowl with smaller bowls of minced garlic, ginger and green onion beside it.

Step 2: Stir Fry Eggplant

Heat the oil in a large non-stick pan or wok. The larger the better to the eggplant has some room.

When the pan is hot, add the eggplant 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.

Stir fried cooked eggplant and green onion in a large wok.

Step 3: Add the Ginger and Garlic

Add the ginger and garlic to the pan and cook for another minute, stirring often.

Step 4: Finish Stir Fry

Reduce the heat to medium and add the 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.

Eggplant stir fry with green onion, garlic and ginger in a wok.

Serve your eggplant drizzled with sesame oil and topped with the remaining green onions and sesame seeds.

Stir fried eggplant topped with green onions and sesame seeds in a bowl.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use globe eggplant?

You can, however, Japanese/Chinese 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.

Do I have to salt the eggplant?

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.

Is eggplant stir fry gluten-free?

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.

Close up of stir fried eggplant with green onion and sesame seeds in a bowl.

Expert Tips

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.


Stir fried eggplant topped with green onions and sesame seeds in a bowl.

How to Store

  • Eggplant stir fry is best enjoyed fresh and hot from the pan.
  • 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.

Did you try this recipe?
I’d love to hear about it! Click here to leave a review and be sure to tag me @runningonrealfood if you post it on social media.

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Close up of stir fried eggplant with green onion and sesame seeds in a bowl.

Eggplant Stir Fry

  • Author: Deryn Macey
  • Prep Time: 5 mins
  • Cook Time: 15 mins
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 3
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Cuisine: Japanese-Inspired
  • Diet: Vegan
Save Recipe


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, thinly sliced (20 g)
  • 1 tbsp grated ginger (16 g)
  • 68 green onions, thinly sliced, separating green and whites
  • 1 tsp sesame oil, for garnish
  • sesame seeds, for garnish


  1. 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.
  2. Stir Fry Eggplant: In a large non-stick pan or work, 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.
  3. Add ginger and garlic. Cook for another 1 min, stirring often, until fragrant. 
  4. Reduce heat to medium, then add sauce. Cook for 1-2 min, stirring constantly, until eggplant absorbs the sauce. 
  5. 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. It is optional. You can use coconut sugar, maple syrup, brown sugar or light brown sugar.


  • 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

What to Make Next

For more eggplant recipes, don’t miss this delicious Thai Basil Eggplant.

For more favourite stir fries, this Ramen Noodle Stir Fry, Orange Tofu, Sweet and Sour Tofu and Udon Stir Fry are all delicious.

Try pairing this eggplant stir fry with Cabbage Fried Rice, Mushroom Fried Rice or Vegan Drunken Noodles.