Yixiang Spicy Eggplant

Yixiang Spicy Eggplant, also known as “Fish-Fragrant Eggplant,” is a well-liked and sought-after Zi Char dish in Sichuan cuisine. This delectable stir-fry features tender eggplant slices cooked in a savory, spicy, and tangy sauce that embodies the unique “fish-fragrant” flavor profile. Despite its name, the dish does not contain any fish; instead, it is inspired by the flavors commonly used in Sichuan fish dishes. The popularity of Yixiang Spicy Eggplant lies in its explosive combination of sweet, sour, spicy, and umami tastes, perfectly balanced with the smooth texture of the eggplant. Its vibrant flavor and aromatic appeal make it a favorite choice among diners seeking a zesty, flavorful, and unforgettable addition to their Zi Char dining experience.

Why Do People Love Yixiang Spicy Eggplant

The appeal of Yixiang Spicy Eggplant lies in its unique blend of flavours and textures. Firstly, the tender and succulent eggplant absorbs the rich sauce, resulting in a melt-in-your-mouth experience. Secondly, the dish boasts a harmonious balance of spicy, sweet, and sour elements that create a tantalising taste sensation. The Sichuan peppercorns add a numbing sensation, known as “mala,” which enhances the overall complexity of the dish. 

The generous use of garlic and ginger also infuses the eggplant with aromatic notes, elevating its appeal even further.

Making Yixiang Spicy Eggplant Yourself

making Yixiang Spicy Eggplant yourself

If you’re making this dish yourself, here’s a recipe that you can try out.


  • 2 large eggplants
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1-inch piece of ginger, grated
  • 2 spring onions, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon black vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon doubanjiang (spicy bean paste)
  • 1 tablespoon Sichuan peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch, dissolved in 2 tablespoons water
  • Fresh coriander leaves, for garnish
  • Steamed rice, to serve

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 20 minutes

Servings: 4

How To Cook Yixiang Spicy Eggplant

Step 1

Cut the eggplants into long, thin strips and soak them in salted water for 10 minutes to remove any bitterness. Drain well and set aside.

Step 2

Heat the vegetable oil in a wok or frying pan over medium heat. Add the minced garlic, grated ginger, and sliced spring onions. Stir-fry for a minute until fragrant.

Step 3

Add the eggplant strips to the pan and stir-fry for about 5 minutes until they start to soften.

Step 4

In a small bowl, mix together the soy sauce, black vinegar, sugar, and doubanjiang. Pour this sauce over the eggplants and stir well to coat.

Step 5

Add the Sichuan peppercorns and continue cooking for another 5 minutes until the eggplants are fully cooked and tender.

Step 6

Stir in the cornstarch mixture to thicken the sauce. Cook for an additional minute until the sauce has thickened.

Step 7

Garnish with fresh coriander leaves and serve hot with steamed rice.

Serving Yixiang Spicy Eggplant With Other Dishes

Yixiang Spicy Eggplant pairs well with steamed rice as the flavours of the dish complement the simplicity of the rice. For a complete Sichuan feast, consider serving it alongside other classic dishes such as Mapo Tofu, Kung Pao Chicken, or Dan Dan Noodles. 

Nutritional/Health Benefits

  1. Vitamins and Minerals: Eggplant is rich in vitamins B6 and K, as well as minerals like potassium and manganese, supporting heart health, bone health, and overall well-being.
  2. Dietary Fiber: Eggplant is a good source of dietary fiber, promoting healthy digestion and aiding in bowel regularity.
  3. Low-Calorie Option: The dish is relatively low in calories, making it suitable for those watching their calorie intake while enjoying a flavorful meal.
  4. Spice Benefits: The spicy components in Yixiang Spicy Eggplant, often derived from chili peppers and Sichuan peppercorns, can potentially boost metabolism and aid in weight management.
  5. Antioxidants: Eggplant contains antioxidants like anthocyanins, which help protect the body from oxidative stress and inflammation.
  6. Balanced Flavor Profile: Yixiang Spicy Eggplant offers a delightful balance of sweet, sour, spicy, and umami flavors, appealing to a wide range of palates.
  7. Vegan-Friendly: The dish is suitable for vegans, providing a nutritious and delicious plant-based option.
  8. Nutrient-Rich Sauce: The flavorful sauce of Yixiang Spicy Eggplant contains ingredients like soy sauce, vinegar, and various seasonings, adding to the dish’s nutritional profile.
  9. Nutrient Retention: Cooking eggplant with the flavorful sauce helps retain the nutritional value of the vegetable, making it a wholesome and nourishing dish.

Visit Lao Li Da Pai Dang For An Authentic Zi Char Experience

The above recipe is just one of the many ways to making this dish. 

If you’re looking to enjoy delicious Yixiang Spicy Eggplant without all the hassle and preparation time, while discovering a unique version that our customers can’t get enough of, then come on down to our restaurant for an enjoyous dine-in or takeaway, and experience it for yourself, only at Lao Li Da Pai Dang!

Whether you’re in the mood for this, or wish to explore other dishes, our extensive zi char menu promises to delight at every turn. At Lao Li Da Pai Dang, the warm and inviting ambience, coupled with attentive service, creates a family-friendly and inclusive atmosphere that only adds to the enjoyment whenever you visit and dine with us. 

Join us for a memorable meal, where affordability meets genuine culinary excellence, promising to satisfy your taste buds and leave you with cherished moments.

Make a reservation today