Eggplant with Thai Basil & Chicken

This stir-fry of Eggplant with Chicken and Thai Basil involves many of my favorite things to eat, and it’s a quick and easy meal to boot. The fragrant combination of aromatics, including Thai basil, wakes up your taste buds. Add a little eggplant and chicken (or omit the meat to make this vegetarian), and you have a satisfying meal after less than 15 minutes at the stove! Note: This recipe was originally published  in August 2016. We’ve since  updated it with clearer instructions and metric measurements. Enjoy!  Notes on Ingredients We call for Japanese or Chinese eggplant in this recipe. They are generally more tender than regular globe eggplants, with fewer seeds. Japanese eggplant has darker skin (similar in color to a regular globe eggplant), while Chinese eggplant has lighter purple skin. Both are long and thinly shaped. We have a great crop of eggplant in our garden this year, which is why we’re bringing this recipe back up from the archives!  If using eggplants with thick skin, like the regular large variety you find at your average grocery store, you can peel all or part of the skin off. Similarly, we call for Thai basil or holy basil, but Italian Basil can also work in a pinch! Cooking Eggplant with Less Oil Now that we’ve gotten the finer points about eggplant and basil out of the way, we can talk about cooking eggplant. Specifically, eggplants are little sponges that seem to absorb just as much oil as you add. For this reason, we refrain from deep frying it when we cook it at home. Instead, we use a dry fry method in the wok. That said, restaurant-style eggplant dishes almost always rely on a deep or shallow fry. Consequently, Chinese eggplant dishes, while delicious, are often swimming in oil. To lessen this problem, we use the dry fry method in our Chinese Eggplant with Garlic Sauce here as well in this recipe. Whether you’re buying Japanese or Chinese eggplants from your local Asian grocery store, picking them from the garden, or using another variety you find locally, take advantage of eggplant season, and enjoy this one! Eggplant with Thai Basil & Chicken: Recipe Instructions In a medium bowl, massage the chicken with the water until it is completely absorbed, and add 1 teaspoon vegetable oil, 1 ½ teaspoons soy sauce, and 1 teaspoon cornstarch until well incorporated. Set aside. For more information and preparing chicken for stir fries, see Bill’s post on Chicken velveting 101. Heat your wok over medium-high heat and coat it with 2 tablespoons of oil. Spread the eggplant out evenly in the wok, and let sear with the cover on the wok for 2 minutes. Remove the cover, turn the eggplant pieces over, and pour another tablespoon of oil around the perimeter. Cover the wok, and turn heat to medium-low for another 2 minutes until the eggplant is just tender.  Next, increase the heat to high to cook the eggplant to a golden brown color—another 2 minutes. Transfer to a plate. Add 1 tablespoon of oil to your wok and heat until just smoking. Add the marinated chicken, and spread it around the wok. Let it sear for 30 to 60 seconds (depending upon your burner capacity) on each side. Remove from the wok and set aside. With the wok over high heat, add another tablespoon of oil, the garlic, the white parts of the scallions, and the Thai basil (or holy basil). Stir-fry for 30 seconds, and add the chicken and eggplant. Next, add the Shaoxing wine, and stir everything together. Add the fish sauce, sugar, Thai thin soy sauce, dark soy sauce, sesame oil, and white pepper, and stir until everything is combined—about 1 minute. Next, add the green portion of the scallions. Pour the hot chicken stock around the perimeter of the wok to deglaze it. Stir-fry until everything is well-combined, and most of the liquid has been absorbed by other ingredients. Serve with steamed jasmine rice!  Enjoy this eggplant with Thai basil and chicken while summer eggplants are abundant! Looking for more authentic recipes? Subscribe to our email list and be sure to follow us on Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram, and Youtube! 4.96 from 24 votes Japanese Eggplant with Chicken & Thai Basil Japanese Eggplant with Chicken and Thai basil stir-fry wakes up your taste buds with Thai basil and tender Japanese eggplant and is so easy to make at home. by: BillCourse:Chicken and PoultryCuisine:Chinese serves: 4 servings Prep: 15 minutes Cook: 15 minutes Total: 30 minutes IngredientsUS Customary – Metric InstructionsIn a medium bowl, massage the chicken with 2 tablespoons of water until it is completely absorbed, and add 1 teaspoon vegetable oil, 1 ½ teaspoons soy sauce, and 1 teaspoon cornstarch until well incorporated. Set aside.Heat your wok over medium-high heat and coat it with 2 tablespoons of oil. Spread the eggplant out evenly in the wok, and let sear with the cover on the wok for 2 minutes. Remove the cover, turn the eggplant piec

Eggplant with Thai Basil & Chicken

This stir-fry of Eggplant with Chicken and Thai Basil involves many of my favorite things to eat, and it’s a quick and easy meal to boot.

The fragrant combination of aromatics, including Thai basil, wakes up your taste buds.

Add a little eggplant and chicken (or omit the meat to make this vegetarian), and you have a satisfying meal after less than 15 minutes at the stove!

Note: This recipe was originally published  in August 2016. We’ve since  updated it with clearer instructions and metric measurements. Enjoy! 

Notes on Ingredients

We call for Japanese or Chinese eggplant in this recipe. They are generally more tender than regular globe eggplants, with fewer seeds.

Japanese eggplant has darker skin (similar in color to a regular globe eggplant), while Chinese eggplant has lighter purple skin. Both are long and thinly shaped.

Thai Eggplant Stir-fry with Chicken & Basil, by thewoksoflife.com

We have a great crop of eggplant in our garden this year, which is why we’re bringing this recipe back up from the archives! 

Homegrown Japanese eggplants

If using eggplants with thick skin, like the regular large variety you find at your average grocery store, you can peel all or part of the skin off.

Similarly, we call for Thai basil or holy basil, but Italian Basil can also work in a pinch!

Cooking Eggplant with Less Oil

Now that we’ve gotten the finer points about eggplant and basil out of the way, we can talk about cooking eggplant.

Specifically, eggplants are little sponges that seem to absorb just as much oil as you add. For this reason, we refrain from deep frying it when we cook it at home. Instead, we use a dry fry method in the wok.

That said, restaurant-style eggplant dishes almost always rely on a deep or shallow fry. Consequently, Chinese eggplant dishes, while delicious, are often swimming in oil.

To lessen this problem, we use the dry fry method in our Chinese Eggplant with Garlic Sauce here as well in this recipe.

Whether you’re buying Japanese or Chinese eggplants from your local Asian grocery store, picking them from the garden, or using another variety you find locally, take advantage of eggplant season, and enjoy this one!

Thai Eggplant Stir-fry with Chicken & Basil, by thewoksoflife.com

Eggplant with Thai Basil & Chicken: Recipe Instructions

Thai Eggplant Stir-fry with Chicken & Basil, by thewoksoflife.com

In a medium bowl, massage the chicken with the water until it is completely absorbed, and add 1 teaspoon vegetable oil, 1 ½ teaspoons soy sauce, and 1 teaspoon cornstarch until well incorporated. Set aside.

For more information and preparing chicken for stir fries, see Bill’s post on Chicken velveting 101.

Heat your wok over medium-high heat and coat it with 2 tablespoons of oil.

Spread the eggplant out evenly in the wok, and let sear with the cover on the wok for 2 minutes.

Thai Eggplant Stir-fry with Chicken & Basil, by thewoksoflife.com

Remove the cover, turn the eggplant pieces over, and pour another tablespoon of oil around the perimeter.

Thai Eggplant Stir-fry with Chicken & Basil, by thewoksoflife.com

Cover the wok, and turn heat to medium-low for another 2 minutes until the eggplant is just tender. 

Next, increase the heat to high to cook the eggplant to a golden brown color—another 2 minutes. Transfer to a plate.

Add 1 tablespoon of oil to your wok and heat until just smoking. Add the marinated chicken, and spread it around the wok.

Let it sear for 30 to 60 seconds (depending upon your burner capacity) on each side. Remove from the wok and set aside.

Thai Eggplant Stir-fry with Chicken & Basil, by thewoksoflife.com
Thai Eggplant Stir-fry with Chicken & Basil, by thewoksoflife.com

With the wok over high heat, add another tablespoon of oil, the garlic, the white parts of the scallions, and the Thai basil (or holy basil).

Thai Eggplant Stir-fry with Chicken & Basil, by thewoksoflife.com
Thai Eggplant Stir-fry with Chicken & Basil, by thewoksoflife.com

Stir-fry for 30 seconds, and add the chicken and eggplant.

Thai Eggplant Stir-fry with Chicken & Basil, by thewoksoflife.com

Next, add the Shaoxing wine, and stir everything together.

Add the fish sauce, sugar, Thai thin soy sauce, dark soy sauce, sesame oil, and white pepper, and stir until everything is combined—about 1 minute. Next, add the green portion of the scallions.

Thai Eggplant Stir-fry with Chicken & Basil, by thewoksoflife.com

Pour the hot chicken stock around the perimeter of the wok to deglaze it. Stir-fry until everything is well-combined, and most of the liquid has been absorbed by other ingredients. Serve with steamed jasmine rice! 

Thai Eggplant Stir-fry with Chicken & Basil, by thewoksoflife.com

Enjoy this eggplant with Thai basil and chicken while summer eggplants are abundant!

Thai Eggplant Stir-fry with Chicken & Basil, by thewoksoflife.com
Thai Eggplant Stir-fry with Chicken & Basil, by thewoksoflife.com

4.96 from 24 votes

Japanese Eggplant with Chicken & Thai Basil

Japanese Eggplant with Chicken and Thai basil stir-fry wakes up your taste buds with Thai basil and tender Japanese eggplant and is so easy to make at home.

serves: 4 servings

Ingredients

Instructions

  • In a medium bowl, massage the chicken with 2 tablespoons of water until it is completely absorbed, and add 1 teaspoon vegetable oil, 1 ½ teaspoons soy sauce, and 1 teaspoon cornstarch until well incorporated. Set aside.

  • Heat your wok over medium-high heat and coat it with 2 tablespoons of oil. Spread the eggplant out evenly in the wok, and let sear with the cover on the wok for 2 minutes. Remove the cover, turn the eggplant pieces over, and pour another tablespoon of oil around the perimeter. Cover the wok, and turn heat to medium-low for another 2 minutes until the eggplant is just tender. Next, raise the heat to high to cook the eggplant to a golden brown color–another 2 minutes. Transfer to a plate.

  • Add 1 more tablespoon of oil to your wok and heat until just smoking. Add the marinated chicken, and spread it around the wok. Let it sear for 30 to 60 seconds (depending upon your burner capacity) on each side. Remove from the wok and set aside.

  • With the wok over high heat, add another tablespoon of oil, the garlic, the white parts of the scallions, and the basil. Stir fry for 30 seconds, and add the eggplant and chicken.

  • Next, add the Shaoxing wine, and stir everything together. Add the fish sauce, sugar, soy sauces, sesame oil, and white pepper, and stir until everything is combined–about a minute. Next, add the green portion of the scallions.

  • Pour the chicken stock around the perimeter of the wok to deglaze it. Stir fry until everything is well-combined, and most of the liquid has been absorbed by other ingredients. Serve with steamed jasmine rice!

nutrition facts

Calories: 240kcal (12%) Carbohydrates: 10g (3%) Protein: 15g (30%) Fat: 16g (25%) Saturated Fat: 12g (60%) Cholesterol: 36mg (12%) Sodium: 604mg (25%) Potassium: 515mg (15%) Fiber: 4g (16%) Sugar: 5g (6%) Vitamin A: 240IU (5%) Vitamin C: 5.9mg (7%) Calcium: 27mg (3%) Iron: 0.7mg (4%)