Aubergine salad with garlic dressing (凉拌茄子)

Steamed to a creamy, melt-in-your-mouth texture, then seasoned with a pungent chilli-garlic dressing, this Chinese aubergine salad is simple yet delectable.

I love versatile vegetables which can be prepared in various ways and still taste  wonderful. Aubergine can definitely make it to my list. Chinese cooks stir fry it, deep fry it, braise it and steam it. Today I’d like to share a simple recipe using steaming method: Aubergine salad with garlic dressing.

Aubergine tastes best when it’s cooked to a creamy, melt-in-your-mouth texture. To make aubergine salad, Chinese cooks steam it to achieve this effect. I usually cut the aubergine into chunky strips for steaming. I recommend that you keep the purple skin on since that’s where aubergine’s most valuable nutrient comes from.

When completely cool, I tear the aubergine into smaller pieces with my hands. I find that hand-torn pieces of aubergine look very natural and appetizing. They also tend to absorbs more dressing than regularly cut pieces. In fact, hand-tearing is a very popular technique used in Chinese cuisine. Have you heard of famous dishes like hand-torn chicken (手撕鸡), hand-torn cabbage (手撕包菜) and hand-torn noodles (面片)?

As I mentioned in the post on Stir-fried aubergine in plum sauce, garlic is almost indispensable in aubergine dishes. The use of fresh chilli also gives this aubergine salad an extra zing. Be generous with these two ingredients. If possible, use a mortar to  crush them into a rough paste. This helps to release most of their pungent flavour. Then add black rice vinegar, soy sauce, etc. to the paste.  Allow them to infuse for a few minutes before using.

Typically, Chinese salad dishes call for pure sesame seed oil because of its aromatic, nutty taste. In my aubergine salad, I sometimes use homemade spring onion oil instead. It tastes wonderful and is very versatile indeed. Why not make some yourself if you fancy the fragrance of onion (Please click HERE to find out how to make and use this Chinese condiment)?

Aubergine salad with chilli-garlic dressing (凉拌茄子)
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Prep Time: 2 minutes

Cook Time: 8 minutes

Total Time: 10 minutes

Serving Size: 2 servings

Aubergine salad with chilli-garlic dressing (凉拌茄子)

Steamed to a creamy, melt-in-your-mouth texture, then seasoned with a pungent chilli-garlic dressing, this Chinese aubergine salad is simple yet delectable.



  1. Cut aubergine into long, chunky strips. Place them into a steamer filled with hot water. Cook for about 8 minutes until very soft. 
  2. Place cooked aubergine in a colander then press with a fork to squeeze out any excess water. Set aside to cool.
  3. Meanwhile, prepare the dressing by mixing all the remaining ingredients. Leave to infuse.
  4. When the aubergine is completely cool, tear it into long, narrow pieces with your hands or a fork. Place on a serving plate. Pour the dressing over.

If you are a fan of Chinese / Asian cuisine, don’t forget to follow my Pinterest page where you can find thousands of scrumptious recipes.

Happy cooking!

An enthusiastic cook with a Chinese palate and a global mindset.

A plate of aubergine salad flavoured with garlic, chilli, vinegar, etc.

Another delicious aubergine recipe:

Stir-fried aubergine in plum sauce (苏梅酱茄子)

More refreshing salad dishes:

Spinach and soybean salad with ginger dressing (姜汁菠菜毛豆)

Cucumber salad with easy Chinese dressing (拌黄瓜)




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