Vietnamese Eggplant Garlic-Chili

Vietnamese Eggplant Garlic-Chili

Andrew Pham
Mom's favorite
Cuisine Vietnamese


  • pounds eggplant cut into thumb-size segments
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • ½ medium yellow onion diced
  • 3 tablespoons oil
  • 2 Thai chilis finely diced (optional, increase to taste)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • Water


  • Microwave eggplant on high for 5 minutes.
  • Heat oil in pan, coating entire cooking surface with oil. Sauté garlic and onion.
  • Add semi-cooked eggplant and stir fry on high heat for 3 minutes.
  • Add chili, sugar, and fish and continue to stir fry on medium heat for 5 minutes to allow flavors to meld, adding a little water as necessary.
  • Taste and add fish sauce or sugar as necessary. Serve.


Traditionally, this dish is stir-fried in about ½ cup of oil or lard. Eggplant has sponge-like quality. It can easily absorb twice its weight in oil, and it takes a considerable time to cook. I use the microwave to reduce the cooking time by two-third and minimize amount of oil used. The flavor profile is sweet, salty, and spicy. The eggplant can also be thoroughly stir-fried until it breaks down completely into a mush.