This Stuffed Eggplant with Black Bean Sauce is a fun dish to eat with contrasting textures and flavors complementing each other. Serve it with rice for a light yet flavorful dinner.
In this dish, eggplant is stuffed with either fish paste, shrimp or pork paste and fried until golden. The eggplant becomes tender, creamy and sweet while the filling is slightly bouncy and chewy. Everything is then complemented by a black bean sauce with deep savory flavors.
Related: not a fan of eggplant? You can try this stuffed tofu in black bean sauce instead.
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(1) Eggplant: make sure you purchase the long and slender Asian eggplants. Slice them into thick slice and split in half horizontally without cutting all the way through. Soak the eggplant in salted water for 10-15 minutes to draw out bitterness.
(2) Filling: as mentioned above, you can use either fish paste or shrimp paste for the filling. Pork paste may also work. Here I use fish paste and mix it with aromatics and seasonings. Mix until the filling is sticky so that it will turn out with a bouncy texture.
(3) Fermented black beans: these small beans add so much savoriness to the sauce, which is quite similar to the one in my Steamed Tofu with Black Bean Sauce recipe. You can find it at Asian grocery stores. You will also need some soy sauce and oyster sauce for the sauce.
This Asian stuffed eggplant dish is pretty quick and easy to make. Here are the main steps:
- Frying the stuffed eggplant
- Simmer the sauce
- Pour the sauce over stuffed eggplant
Since both the sauce and the stuffed eggplant are still very hot, the eggplant will absorb the sauce easily. That’s why you just need to pour the sauce over the eggplant. No need to toss or simmer the eggplant in the sauce, otherwise it can get too salty.
Please find detailed instructions in the recipe card below. I hope you will give it a try.
⭐️ I’d love to hear what you think about the dish, so please feel free to leave a comment and a rating if you have tried it. New recipes are added every week so let’s connect on Facebook, Youtube, Pinterest and Instagram for the latest updates. You can find my collection of Vietnamese recipes here.
Stuffed Eggplant with Black Bean Sauce
For the Stuffed Eggplant
- 2 medium Asian eggplants (about 18 oz or 500g)
- 7 oz fish paste or shrimp paste
- 1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 2 teaspoons minced shallots
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon fish sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon thinly sliced white parts of scallions
- 1 tablespoon oil (plus more for cooking)
For the Black Bean Sauce
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 2 tablespoons fermented black beans, rinsed and roughly chopped
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons oyster sauce
- 1/2 cup water
- thinly sliced green parts of scallions (for garnishing)
- Slice eggplants on a bias into ¾-inch thick slices. Split in half horizontally without cutting all the way through. Soak in salted water for 10-15 minutes. Then remove from the water and pat dry.
- In a mixing bowl, add fish or shrimp paste with the remaining ingredients for the stuffed eggplant. Mix well for several minutes until a sticky mixture is formed.
- Stuff each eggplant slice with about 2-3 teaspoons of the paste filling.
- Place a shallow frying pan over medium heat and add a generous amount of oil. Heat the oil until hot, then increase the heat to medium-high and add the stuffed eggplant. Fry each side for about 2 minutes until golden and the filling is fully cooked. You may need to fry in batch.
- Remove the fried eggplant from the pan and set aside on some paper towel to absorb excess oil.
- Place another small shallow pan or saucepan over medium heat and add 2-3 teaspoons of oil. Once the oil is hot, add minced garlic and sauté for several seconds until fragrant. Then add fermented black beans and stir and cook for 20-30 seconds.
- Add soy sauce and oyster sauce to the pan and stir for about 10 seconds. Then add the water and simmer for a couple minutes to let flavors combine. Turn off the heat.
- Arrange stuffed eggplants on a serving plate, then immediately pour the black bean sauce over the eggplants. Sprinkle green scallions on top for garnishing.
what would be a good vegetarian substitute for the shrimp or meat in the stuffing?
Would soft tofu work?
I think tofu may work. I recently made some fried tofu puffs using plain tofu (medium-firm to firm) processed into a paste with a food chopper, minced carrot, a bit of egg and potato starch to bind everything together. I think something like that may be used as the stuffing.
My black bean sauce uses oyster sauce, but I believe Lee Kum Kee has a vegetarian stir-fry oyster sauce.
I would love to hear how your vegetarian version turns out!