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Chinese braised aubergine tofu

14 May 2018

This braised aubergine and tofu recipe is inspired by the staple vegetarian dish in China.

Chinese braised aubergine and tofu
Chinese braised aubergine and tofu

Resting time

30 minutes

Cooking time

30 minutes




  • 900g aubergine, ideally Chinese aubergine if you can find it
  • 100g table salt
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 6 cloves of garlic, 2 whole cloves lightly crushed with the back of a knife and 4 thinly sliced
  • 2 spring onions, thinly sliced
  • 3 tbsp pickled Sichuan vegetables
  • 350g firm tofu, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 2 tbsp fresh coriander, roughly chopped

For the sauce

  • 2tsp black vinegar (Chinkiang Vinegar)
  • 150ml Wing Yip Shao Hsing Wine
  • 1 tbsp corn starch
  • 3 tbsp Wing Yip Light Soy Sauce
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp fermented chilli paste
  • 1 tbsp Wing Yip Pure Sesame Oil


1. Cut the aubergine into roughly 2-inch cubes and place into a colander. Sprinkle over the salt and mix thoroughly to ensure that the aubergine is evenly coated. Leave for at least 30 minutes, but ideally for 1 hour.

2. Rinse the aubergine thoroughly to ensure that any remaining salt is removed and then pat dry with kitchen paper.

3. Place into a steamer with a lid which has been carefully placed over boiling water. Cook for the aubergine for 10-15 minutes, or until completely soft. Carefully remove the steamer from over the boiling water and set aside.

4. Whilst the aubergine is cooking, in a bowl combine the sauce ingredients and whisk until the corn starch has dissolved and then set aside.

5. Once the aubergine has steamed and the sauce has been mixed, heat a clean wok over a medium heat and add the vegetable oil. Add the 2 lightly crushed whole garlic cloves and stir-fry until lightly golden. This should take approximately 5 minutes. If the garlic cloves are browning too quickly, turn down the heat.

6. Remove the garlic cloves and discard as these were used to flavour the oil. Turn up the heat to high and add the thinly sliced garlic, white parts of the spring onions and the pickled Sichuan vegetables. Stir-fry for 1 minute and then add the sauce mixture to the wok being careful not to let any of the ingredients burn. Constantly stir until the sauce ingredients have fully incorporated.

7. Add the steamed aubergine to the sauce and then carefully add the cubed tofu. Gently fold all the ingredients through the sauce and bring to the boil. Once boiling reduce the heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes or until the sauce has thickened and the aubergine and tofu are piping hot.

8. Serve immediately with boiled jasmine rice and garnish with the spring onion greens and the coriander.

Recipe provided by Wing Yip, the UK's largest Oriental grocer, to celebrate National Vegetarian Week. Wing Yip has stores in Birmingham, Cricklewood, Croydon and Manchester, as well as an online shop

Visit our Asian recipe section for more delicious recipe ideas, or try one of our other Chinese recipes


The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated. The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.