Electric Lunchbox #77: Spicy Eggplant

I do learn a thing or two every once in a while when I develop/experiment on recipes. And I am all for sharing it so that you can learn something too!

For this particular recipe, I found the sauce too watery after cooking it with 2 ELB cups of water. AND I learned that if I want it to be thicker, I can add more cornstarch to the cooked dish, stir in until it dissolves, add another ELB cup of water to the base, and let it steam away. I usually dissolve cornstarch in a little water and add that to the dish but for this, I just stirred it in. The eggplant needed to be cooked a little more too so it came out perfect after another 20 minutes of steaming.

So…if you want your ELB sauces thicker, you can always add a teaspoon or so of cornstarch and steam it a bit more.

This is a dish can be as spicy or as mild as you want it to be. Feel free to add more chili paste if you like spicy food.

I would prepare rice (2 ELB cups rice, rinsed and drained, and 2 ELB cups water) in the small top bowl to have a delicious Chinese style lunch or dinner in a pinch!

*NOTE that this recipe uses regular sized measuring cups, NOT the tiny ELB cup, unless specified.*

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1 tablespoon brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1 1/2 tablespoon soy sauce

1 1/2 tablespoon water

1 teaspoon vinegar

1/2 teaspoon chili paste (mild – add more to make it more spicy)

1/2 teaspoon black bean garlic sauce, or hoisin sauce

1/2 teaspoon sesame oil

1 – 2 teaspoons cornstarch

1 cup cubed eggplant

3 ELB cups water, for the base

Chopped green onions, for serving


1. In the big bowl of the ELB, mix together brown sugar, garlic powder, soy sauce, water, vinegar, chili paste, black bean paste or hoisin sauce, sesame oil, and cornstarch. Mix well.

2. Add the eggplant cubes. And mix to coat cubes with sauce.

3. Place the bowl in the ELB. Add 3 ELB cups of water, cover and let steam until it shuts off, about an hour.

4. Carefully open the ELB and stir the eggplant. Taste and adjust the seasoning to your taste.

5. Top with chopped green onions and serve hot.

6. Enjoy!

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