Fish-fragrant aubergines

Fish-fragrant aubergines

  • serves 4
  • Easy

The reason this dish is called ‘fish-fragrant’ is because its flavours have traditionally been used in Sichuan cuisine when cooking with fish. It's actually a vegan recipe!


Try this recipe for fish-fragrant aubergines, then check out more aubergine recipes including our smoky miso aubergines.



  • vegetable oil 4 tbsp
  • aubergines 2, cut into 2cm-thick batons
  • garlic 6 cloves, finely chopped
  • ginger a thumb-sized piece, finely chopped
  • chilli bean paste (doubinjiang/toban jang) 2 tbsp (see cook’s notes)
  • light soy sauce 1 tbsp
  • soft light brown sugar 1 tbsp
  • chinkiang black vinegar 3 tbsp (see cook's notes)
  • spring onions 3, just the green parts, thinly sliced
  • cooked rice to serve


  • Step 1

    Heat 2 tbsp of the oil in a large non-stick frying pan and fry the aubergines over a medium heat, in batches, for 8-10 minutes until caramelised and really soft. Scoop out onto a plate using a slotted spoon.

  • Step 2

    Add the rest of the oil with the garlic, ginger, chilli bean paste and soy, and fry for a few minutes until fragrant. Tip in 250ml of water and the aubergines back into the pan. Simmer gently for 20-30 minutes or until the aubergines are meltingly soft and the sauce has thickened and reduced. Stir through the sugar and vinegar, and spoon into a serving bowl, then sprinkle with spring onion greens. Serve with rice, if you like.

Cook's notes

  • Chilli bean paste, otherwise known as doubinjiang or toban jang, is a salty paste made from
    fermented broad beans, soya beans, salt, rice and various spices. Lee Kum Kee chilli bean paste is available from Asian supermarkets and
  • Chinkiang black vinegar is a rice-based vinegar used widely in Chinese cuisine – it is available from Asian supermarkets and

Have you tried our mapo tofu recipe yet?

Mapo Tofu

We've also got plenty more delicious aubergine recipes...

Fish-fragrant aubergines

Nutritional Information

  • Kcals 183
  • Fat 12.2g
  • Saturates 1g
  • Carbs 12.3g
  • Sugars 9.9g
  • Fibre 5.5g
  • Protein 3.3g
  • Salt 1.1g