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Vegan Chinese Garlic Eggplant

Vegan Chinese Garlic Eggplant

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This Vegan Chinese Garlic Eggplant takes minimal time to make and only 10-ingredients. It makes for a perfect side dish or as a main.

 I remember always being super excited whenever she makes this because of how good the sauce was. I could almost always finish an entire plate of them.

Growing up, my mom does the majority of the cooking at home. My dad was a chef and worked long hours at a Chinese restaurant in Boston. Because of this, I often don’t see him until he returns home right before I go to bed or early in the morning before he leaves if it was the weekend and I was not in school. Whenever he is home, he would not want to cook.

Vegan Chinese Garlic Eggplant
Vegan Chinese Garlic Eggplant

My mom did not mind though. She loves her kitchen and cooking whenever she can. Since I was little, I would go into the kitchen with her whenever she started to cook, fascinated by her cooking skills which she had learned all from my grandmother. I am always in awe over how she could add spices, sauces and other condiments into whatever she is cooking without having to measure anything. So when she started to allow me to help her cook in the kitchen, I always fumble because I want the exact measurements. This may also be a reason why I bake more than I cook because of the precise measurements.

Vegan Chinese Garlic Eggplant

Over the last couple of months, I reflected a lot about my culture, how I had strayed far from it once I was in school and wanted to fit in with everyone. I still ate all the home cooked meals and celebrated all the chinese holidays and festivities, but my heart was never really into them. When I was away from college, I did not cook many Chinese dishes from my mom because I was so excited to get out and explore other cultures and their recipes. As a result of this, I came to forget a lot about my parents’ and my culture’s history. I didn’t research much about it because I really didn’t want to know at that time.

However, these last couple of months of having to stay in more, I began to question my why and wonder where it all started that I didn’t appreciate my own culture. It’s rich in history and many of the cooking traditions and recipes have traveled to the U.S. and took its own twists. Most importantly, I missed my mother’s home cooked meals a lot and wish I had taken the time to write down her recipes or asked her more about my family’s origin.

Vegan Chinese Garlic Eggplant
Vegan Chinese Garlic Eggplant

From the start, I love trying different cultural foods and learning about different cultures. I love tasting original recipes that have been passed down for generations, picturing the first person who made the recipe and the love they shared with their family and friends. This was one of the main reasons I got started with my food blog and Instagram page. I came to realize that my why through it all is to inspire you to embrace your own story and connect you back to your own culture through telling food stories. There is something so magical when we trace back to our roots, understanding where we came from, the practices from our ancestors, and how our cultural recipes came to be.

Vegan Chinese Garlic Eggplant
Vegan Chinese Garlic Eggplant

With this and my desire to learn more about my own culture, I hope to share more of my cultural and family recipes with you going forward. This Chinese Eggplant with Garlic Sauce is one of the dishes my mom made often for my family when I was growing up. I remember always being super excited whenever she makes this because of how good the sauce was. I could almost always finish an entire plate of them.

Vegan Chinese Garlic Eggplant
Vegan Chinese Garlic Eggplant

It is made with light and dark soy sauce. The difference is in the fermentation time. Light soy sauce or regular soy sauce has a shorter fermentation time and are a little lighter in color and saltier than dark soy sauce. Dark soy sauce has a longer fermentation time and is thicker compared to light soy sauce. It is often used for extra color. If you are sensitive to gluten, there are gluten-free soy sauces available in many grocery stores, Kikkoman being one I know who produces dark and light gluten-free soy sauce. For this recipe, I used Lee Kum Kee as the brand for the soy sauces.

Vegan Chinese Garlic Eggplant

If you want to join me in making this simple eggplant dish that takes less than 15 minutes to cook, here are the ingredients you will need:
-Chinese or Japanese eggplants
-cornstarch (can sub for arrowroot or tapioca starch)
-fresh garlic cloves
-fresh ginger
-light soy sauce
-dark soy sauce
-organic cane sugar
-fresh scallions
-sesame seeds (optional)

Ready to make this Vegan Chinese Garlic Eggplant? Let’s start cooking!

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