Szechuan Eggplant with Tofu

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This melt-in-your-mouth Szechuan eggplant is pan fried, coated in a garlicky sweet-spicy sauce and served with crispy tofu over a bed of rice.

As I was getting this post together and looking at the posts I’ve got planned out for the next few weeks, I realized that most of them feature something that came out of my garden, or a friend’s garden, or the farmers market…you get the drift. I’m guessing lots of you have an overabundance of fresh peppers, tomatoes, zucchini, eggplant and the like in your kitchens. Yesterday’s post featured tomato and basil, both harvested from my backyard. Today it’s eggplant and scallions, also harvested from my own crops. I can’t say every post will be like this (spoiler alert, tomorrow’s isn’t), but most will.

Moving on to eggplant! If you’re like me, you planted the ever-popular purple globe eggplants. Traditionally, however, this dish would be made with Chinese eggplants, which are a bit more tender than globes and other more common varieties. You can get away with subbing another type of eggplant here, and in the U.S. at least, globes are the ones that’ll be easiest for you to find. Globe eggplants are what I planted in my garden this year, simply because I can work them into all kinds of recipes. Just stick with a pound of whatever variety you go with and you should be set. Be sure to let me know how it turns out if you try some fun eggplant substitution.

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Szechuan Eggplant with Tofu

This melt-in-your-mouth Szechuan eggplant is pan fried, coated in a garlicky sweet-spicy sauce and served with crispy tofu over a bed of rice. CourseEntree CuisineAmerican, Chinese Prep Time 10 minutes Cook Time 20 minutes Total Time 30 minutes Servings 4 Calories 215 kcal Author Alissa


For the Crispy Tofu

  • Cooking spray or a bit of oil
  • 1lb.extra firm tofupressed at least 15 minutes and cubed

For the Szechuan Eggplant

  • ¼cupvegetable broth
  • sauce
  • 2tbsp.brown sugar
  • 1tbsp.rice vinegar
  • 2tsp.Asian chili pasteor to taste
  • 2tsp.cornstarch
  • 1 ½tbsp.vegetable oil
  • 1tsp.sesame oil
  • 3garlic clovesminced
  • 1lb.eggplantsliced into thin strips (no thicker than ½ inch)
  • 2scallionschopped


Prepare the Tofu

  1. Coat large skillet with oil or cooking spray and place over medium-high heat.
  2. Add tofu to skillet in a single layer. Cook until browned on each side – about 3 minutes per side. Remove from skillet, transfer to a plate and set aside.

Prepare the Eggplant

  1. Whisk broth, soy sauce, brown sugar, vinegar, chili paste and cornstarch together in small bowl. Set aside.
  2. Place vegetable and sesame oil in skillet place over medium heat. Add garlic and sauté for 1 minute.
  3. Add eggplant strips in a single layer. Cook about 5 minutes, until strips are browned on bottoms. Gently flip and cook another 5 minutes, until browned on opposite side and tender. You can add a dash more oil if the skillet begins to dry out.
  4. Add soy sauce mixture to skillet and cook about 1 more minute, until thickened and eggplant is well coated.
  5. Add tofu to skillet and toss to distribute.
  6. Divide among plates or bowls. Serve with rice and top with scallions.

Recipe Notes

Nutrition information does not include rice.

Nutrition FactsSzechuan Eggplant with TofuAmount Per ServingCalories 215Calories from Fat 117% Daily Value*Fat 13g20%Saturated Fat 2.5g13%Sodium 518mg22%Potassium 494mg14%Carbohydrates 16.2g5%Fiber 5.3g21%Sugar 8.8g10%Protein 11.5g23%Calcium 200mg20%Iron 2.5mg14%* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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Great recipe. We found this searching for a recipe with tofu and eggplant. We had one pound of “fairytale eggplant” (small with purple and white skin). Recipe was straight forward and results excellent.

Thank you.


  • This was really, really delicious! Thank you for the awesome recipe!


    • I made this a couple of days ago, modified to suit my low Fodmap diet (just left out garlic cloves and fried eggplant in a suitable garlic infused oil instead). It was delicious and I will be making it again. Thanks!


      • Tried this recipe last night! It was so good and very easy to make. I happened to have all the ingredients which made it all the better. I used the globe eggplant, since thats what I had on hand and it turned out delicious. I just made sure to slice it in thin slivers. The one addition I may include next time are slices of red onions. Other than that, perfect and simple! Thanks for sharing this recipe!


        • Rich and delicious!


          • Made this for the first time tonight and it was delicious! I used thick chilli sauce instead of paste and brown onion instead of scallions but otherwise used all the ingredients as suggested. I mixed all the sauce ingredients before realizing you should hold some back, so I fried the first batch of eggplant using about half ot the total sauce, then used the remaining sauce for the rest of the eggplant and to mix everything together. The result was definitely not as pretty as in the photos but tastes great!


            • I loved the sauce, and I added broccoli to the eggplant stir fry. We found the tofu tasted rather bland, however, so next time I plan to make a bit more sauce in which to marinate the tofu for at least 30 minutes prior to sauteeing it.


            • I wish I had time to read all the comments before I cooked this and modify slightly. I struggled with the eggplant which too wet for browning in pan but was somewhat easier because of your recommendation to slice it thinly. I changed up the tofu prep by baking it (tossing it in “nooch” and tamari first)so it was crispy. I put the eggplant in the oven but not as long as the tofu, so then I cooked it quite a while in wok, allowing it to dry out a bit. One suggestion to toss it in cornstarch might help. I added some thinly sliced red bell pepper as well. The sauce was delicious and when all was combined it was great with brown rice. Will definitely make again. I always enjoy ordering this in Chinese restaurants. Thank you for this and many of your delicious recipes. I’m a new (9 mos) vegan and it is such a help!


            • All the dish needed to look like it came from a restaurant was the takeout container–tasted professional. too.


            • I scored some Dominican eggplants from the grocery store recently and wanted to try a new recipe. This recipe is fab! 10 out of 10 will make again. My boyfriend loved it too 🙂


            • BEYOND FABULOUS! I tweaked a few things … added a bag of mixed veg from the produce section as well as some ginger and a pinch of 5 spice powder…. also increased the sauce since I added the veg. SO EXCEPTIONAL I shared with my friend who is Vegan. Will make again. Was skeptical about slicing the eggplant in long strips…. just DO IT … love the texture with everything else, esp if you add the extra vegetable. ENJOY.


            • Made this tonight, and while it didn’t turn out looking anything like the one in your photos, it tasted amazing. It was every bit as good or better than take out. I used purple & white globe eggplant and soaked the strips in a saltwater bath first to help with the texture. The only thing I would change is the number of servings this makes. Maybe we are just big eaters, but this was just enough for 2 large main dish servings for us. Luckily I was only serving just the 2 of us tonight, so it worked out. 🙂


            • This Szechuan recipe is simple to prepare and the flavors are wonderful! I will definitely make again.
              Thank you


            • Would reduce the sugar and increase the chili paste, but otherwise was good.


            • Found this recipe via Google Search and decided to try ot specifically because I had all the ingredients needed for the sauce. Oh sweet tastebuds, this was so good! I followed the recipe for the crispy tofu and used half an eggplant so I could add zucchini and bell peppers. This sauce complemented everything beautifully. It is definitely my new stir-fry go-to sauce.


            • Hi, I’m Alissa! I’m a former attorney turned professional food blogger. I love creating vegan recipes with bold flavors!

              More about me →

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