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very easy
Prep Time
15 mins
Total Time
1 h


Garlic Sauce:
1/4 cup
firmly packed dark brown sugar
60 ml
1 tbsp
15 ml
1 tsp
hot red pepper flakesfirmly packed dark brown sugar
5 ml
1/2 cup
Compliments Chicken Broth
125 mL
1/3 cup
rice vinegar
75 ml
1/4 cup
dark soy sauce
60 ml
2 tbsp
sesame oil
30 ml
2 tbsp
Compliments Canola Oil
30 ml
2 tbsp
minced garlic
30 ml
2 tbsp
minced fresh ginger
30 ml
1 tbsp
minced fresh green chili, or to taste
15 ml
1 tbsp
minced fresh red chili, or to taste
15 ml
Crispy Fried Eggplant:
1 1/2 tsp
7 ml
1 1/2 tbsp
rice vinegar
7 ml
large Chinese eggplants*
approx. 420 g
approx. 4 cups
Compliments Canola Oil
1 L
1/2 cup
125 mL
1/4 cup
rice flour*
60 mL
1/8 tsp
white pepper
0.5 mL


Step 1

To make the garlic sauce, in a bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, cornstarch and hot red pepper flakes. Gradually whisk in the broth, vinegar and soy sauce until smooth, followed by the sesame oil. Set aside.

Step 2

In a small saucepan, heat the 2 tbsp (30 mL) canola oil over medium heat. Stir in the garlic, ginger and fresh chilis until fragrant and slightly softened, 1 to 2 min. Whisk in the brown sugar mixture. Bring to a rapid simmer, stirring frequently, until thickened and glossy, about 2 min. Remove from heat; cover to keep warm.

Step 3

In a large bowl, mix together 6 cups (1.5 L) cold water plus the salt and rice vinegar; set aside. Trim off and discard the stems and tips of each eggplant; cut each into 2 in. (5 cm)-long cylindrical sections. Each piece of eggplant will be cut into a bunch of thin lengths, much like shoestring potatoes, but attached at the base. To do this, working 1 section at a time, place each piece of eggplant, cut-side down, in between 2 chopsticks. The chopsticks hug up against opposite sides of the eggplant (and in the opposite direction to your knife cuts). The chopsticks act as guards to prevent the knife from cutting all the way through the bottom of each piece of eggplant. Slice down vertically into the eggplant, stopping where the chopsticks block the blade. Make a series of slices 1/4 in. (5 mm) apart, creating a “fan” of cuts into the eggplant. Ensure the base of the eggplant is uncut; the base should be no thicker than the chopsticks, allowing for maximum length “shoestrings” that can “bloom” open during frying. Pivot the eggplant section a quarter turn (keep the 2 chopsticks hugged onto sides); make the same vertical cuts into the eggplant, this time cutting into the previous slices -- as in a grid -- to create long thin shoestrings.

Step 4

After cutting each piece of eggplant, place it into the water and vinegar mixture, gently opening the shoestrings slightly. Soak about 10 min. Drain. Gently squeeze out excess moisture; drain on baking sheet lined with paper or tea towels.

Step 5

Meanwhile, in a small to medium, high-sided saucepan (6 in./15 cm diameter) add about 4 cups (1 L) canola oil to maintain 2 in./5 cm depth oil for frying. Bring it to 180°C (350°F), checking temperature with a deep fry/candy thermometer.

Step 6

In a large bowl, mix together the cornstarch, rice flour and white pepper. Holding each eggplant section by the intact base, dredge the shoestrings into the dry mixture, working to coat in between the cuts. Tamp lightly with the palm of your hand to remove excess dry mixture. Dredge all pieces of eggplant.

Step 7

Working in batches of 2 or 3 at a time, use metal tongs to immerse the eggplant pieces (shoestrings-end first) into the hot oil. Turn occasionally, until crisp and lightly golden, about 5 min. Using a slotted metal spoon; transfer to platter lined with paper or tea towels to drain. Season with salt, if desired, while hot. Serve with garlic sauce on the side for dipping or drizzle overtop. Serve immediately.


*Chinese eggplant, sometimes called Japanese eggplant, are a long narrow variety not the more common bulb-shaped type.
*All-purpose flour can be substituted, however, rice flour produces a crisper coating.

Disclaimer: We seek to be accurate with respect to the ingredients, nutritional information, product images and descriptions listed on our website, however, this information may change from time to time. Please always refer to the product package for the most current and accurate ingredient and nutrition information or other product information.

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Nutrition Facts

Nutrition Description:
Per serving (1/6 of the recipe):
17 g
Saturated Fat:
1.5 g
24 g
2 g
9 g
2 g
740 mg
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