Stir-fried Brinjal with Garlic & Dried Shrimp

6 comments All Recipes, Main Dishes, Vegetables
A traditional Chinese recipe where the brinjal is first softened and browned until golden by a quick deep-fry, then stir-fried together with minced garlic and dried shrimp, and flavoured tastefully with a dark soy sauce and seasoning blend.

I simply cannot get enough of this beautiful, deep-coloured vegetable. Call it by whatever name you identify with – whether it’s brinjal as it’s widely referred to here in Asia, eggplant or aubergine.

I love it because it’s supremely versatile – it’s delicious when deep-fried, smoked, grilled, baked, braised, steamed or stewed. Seriously, I am finding it hard to think of more vegetables than all my fingers, that can be prepared in so many ways and still come out on top in terms of texture and taste.


Oh, and did I mention how nutritionally good brinjal is? That lovely deep, dark purple peel contains Vitamin D, which is scarcely present in vegetables, as well as Vitamin E.

Brinjals are also believed to cool down our body system, aid blood circulation, and improve healing, from the perspective of traditional Chinese medicine. And there’s more good news if you’re trying to prevent cardiovascular diseases.

Consuming brinjal on a regular basis helps prevent hardening of blood vessels, protects the heart and blood arteries. It helps to reduce high blood pressure as well as prevent a high level of cholesterol. Now, that’s something you can surely take to heart!

As with most of my vegetable dishes, I enjoy preparing brinjal, Chinese-style. And even that’s not in any way, narrowing the field or limiting the scope of what you can do with this vegetable.

I’m sharing a traditional Hakka recipe where the brinjal’s hardy, but extremely fleshy texture is first softened and browned until golden by a quick deep-fry. It is then stir-fried together with minced garlic and dried shrimp, and flavoured tastefully with a dark soy sauce and seasoning blend. Simple. Sumptuous. Satisfying.


4.34 from 6 votes
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Stir-fried Brinjal (Eggplant) with Garlic & Dried Shrimps

A traditional Chinese recipe where the brinjal is first softened and browned until golden by a quick deep-fry, then stir-fried together with minced garlic and dried shrimp, and flavoured tastefully with a dark soy sauce and seasoning blend. (Adapted from 'Reviving Local Dialect Cuisine' by Pang Nyuk Yoon)
Celia Lim
Course: Dinner, Lunch, Seafood, Side, Side Dish, Vegetable
Cuisine: Asian, Chinese
Servings :4 servings
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 15 mins
Total Time: 30 mins


  • 500 g brinjal preferably dark purple variety
  • 1 tsp salt for soaking water
  • Some cooking oil for deep-frying
  • 20 g dried shrimp
  • 2 cloves finely minced garlic
  • 50 ml hot water
  • 1 1/2 tsp chicken seasoning powder
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 1 tsp sesame oil

For Garnishing (Optional):

  • Some finely chopped spring onion
  • Some sliced red chilli


  • Wash brinjal, trim the stem off, and cut into wedges. Fill a deep bowl with enough water to soak all the wedges, and add salt. Place all the wedges into the salted water and let soak for 10 minutes, to remove bitter compounds. Drain and set aside to dry completely.
  • Meanwhile, soak dried shrimp in some water until softened. Drain, roughly chop and set aside. Dissolve chicken seasoning powder in hot water, and set aside.
  • Fill a wok one quarter full with cooking oil. Heat up over high heat until oil is very hot. Deep-fry brinjal, in batches of 6 to 7 wedges , until golden brown (about 1 minute or less). Keep stirring the wedges around in the hot oil, turning the fleshy side down into the oil to brown it. Remove and drain on paper towel. Repeat until all the wedges have been deep-fried till golden brown. Turn off heat.
  • Drain the oil from the wok, leaving behind 2 tbsp of oil. Heat up wok over medium heat. When oil is hot, add minced garlic. Fry till fragrant, about 10 seconds. Then add dried shrimp, and continue to stir-fry until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add fried brinjal wedges, chicken seasoning water, sugar, dark soy sauce and sesame oil. Stir vigorously to mix well together and let braise for about 15 seconds, until flavourful. Turn off heat. Scoop out onto a serving plate. Garnish with chopped spring onions and sliced red chilli. Serve hot.
Did you make this? Share it on Instagram!I'd love to see! Don't forget to mention @foodelicacy or tag #foodelicacy so we can drool with you!


  1. Hi Sharon, I so enjoyed reading your interesting story!? Glad you’re having fun experimenting with Asian ingredients in your part of the world! I have to say that I’ve never heard of ‘Nagoma’ but if it is Chinese yam, it’s completely different from the regular yam, and usually used in cooking Chinese soups. The yam rice uses regular yam, or it could be called taro in North America. Not too sure what your yam looks like, but if it’s brownish or whitish, spotted and a little sandy or gritty on the outside, it’s likely to be Chinese yam.?

    I hope you have fun with it, whatever you end up cooking! so much for following, am so thrilled you found me too!?

  2. Sharon in Oregon

    Hi, Celia,
    I just finished my first trip to a new Asian market in Beaverton Oregon, USA, where I saw ‘Nagoma” in the produce section. As I was asking an employee (who was unfamiliar with it), a group of Asian neighbors gathered who all had ideas about how to cook it and eat it! The most helpful turned out to be the one who called it Chinese yam, and I followed it on the internet to your recipes!! Looking forward to making the yam rice and others, because now I know where to find all the (strange to me) ingredients. Subscribing now!

  3. Hi Ling Noh! Fresh shrimp sounds wonderful too, the flavour will be a little different, but nonetheless delicious I’m sure! Yes, I would just add fresh shrimp after the garlic turns fragrant, give it a quick stir fry for 15 secs, then add the rest as per the recipe. You could also add a dash more salt,to your taste, for flavouring. Enjoy!?

  4. Hi – this recipe seems so delicious. I want to try making it with fresh shrimp… would I insert the same technique as the dried shrimp but less time? TIA!

  5. Hi Caz, that’s awesome, thank you for sharing! I love hearing of your wonderful meal complements, the food you cook up sound so delicious ?? Wish I could have had a taste of your cooking…ha ha, can only imagine and dream of it from afar! Happy cooking all the way through your Christmas???

  6. Hi Celia 2nd time Babi Pongtay and the family loved it as usual! thanks for sharing. I’ve also made it with deep fried squid with salt and chilli pepper, a favourite with my family. Accompanied with a white fungus, carrot and sweetcorn soup to get rid of fries heartiness! Dinner was a success. Can’t wait to try the brinjal with garlic and chilli with dried shrimp recipe tomorrow! ??????

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