• Andrew Zimmern Cooks: Ma Po Eggplant


Ma Po Eggplant

By Andrew Zimmern

This is one of my favorite Chinese dishes, made easy for the home cook. It’s a spicy, savory pork sauté served over roasted eggplant. I adore eggplant and make this dish all the time as part of a multi-course spread or just by itself alongside a bowl of steamed white rice.

Watch Andrew make this recipe:

Ma Po Eggplant

Servings: 6


  • 1 pound ground pork, preferably from the shoulder
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1  1/2 tablespoons chile bean paste (toban djan)
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 6 Asian eggplants, halved lengthwise
  • 1 tablespoon peanut oil, plus more for brushing
  • Kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup rice wine or sake
  • 2/3 cup chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1  1/2 tablespoons fresh ginger, minced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 scallions, minced, plus thinly sliced scallions for garnish
  • 1  1/2 tablespoons sugar
  • Cilantro and fresh red chiles, for garnish
  • Steamed rice, for serving


In a large bowl, mix the pork with the vinegar, cornstarch, 1 tablespoon of chile bean paste and 1 tablespoon of soy sauce. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to 8 hours.

Preheat the broiler and position the rack 8 inches from the heat. Brush the eggplants with peanut oil and season with salt. Arrange the eggplants cut side up on a rimmed baking sheet and broil for 10 minutes turning once, until lightly charred and tender.

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk the rice wine, chicken stock, toasted sesame oil and soy sauce. Reserve.

In a wok or large skillet, heat the 1 tablespoon of peanut oil until shimmering. Add the ginger, garlic, scallions, remaining chile bean paste and sugar, and stir-fry over high heat until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the pork and stir-fry until no pink remains, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the liquid seasonings and bring to a boil. Simmer over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes.

Arrange the eggplants cut side up on a platter and spoon the pork on top. Garnish with thinly sliced scallions, cilantro and red pepper. Serve with steamed rice.

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