Cool Steamed Eggplant With a Garlicky Dressing (Liang Ban Qie Zi) 4.000

Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post

Oct 31, 2016

Steaming brings out eggplant's tender side, and the simple seasoning here is terrific.

You’ll need a large steamer basket.

This is designed to be served as one of a number of dishes, but it can also be a light lunch, over rice.


When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 4 servings

  • 1 large eggplant (1 pound total; may substitute the same weight of slender Asian eggplants)
  • 2 tablespoons light soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Chinkiang (black) vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon minced, peeled fresh ginger root
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons thinly sliced scallion (green parts only)
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable or peanut oil


Fill a wok or saute pan with several inches of water, then place your steamer basket inside and heat over medium-high heat.

Meanwhile, cut the eggplant lengthwise into 1/2-inch slices, then cut the slices into 1/2-inch-wide strips. Cut the strips into bite-size pieces and place them in a heatproof bowl, then seat that bowl in the steamer basket once the water has just begun boiling. Cover tightly and steam for 20 minutes, monitoring the water level as needed, until the eggplant is tender.

Whisk together the light soy sauce, black vinegar and sugar in a bowl until the sugar has dissolved.

Just before serving, pile the steamed eggplant in a serving dish. Top with the garlic, ginger and scallion.

Heat the oil in a wok or saute pan over high heat. Once the oil is very hot (shimmering for a few minutes), remove it from the heat and carefully pour it over the dish, which should produce a dramatic sizzle.

Pour the soy sauce mixture over the top. Gently stir it in, then serve.

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Recipe Source

Adapted from "Land of Fish and Rice: Recipes From the Culinary Heart of China," by Fuchsia Dunlop (W.W. Norton, 2016).

Tested by Sam Fromartz.

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