Nov 13, 2022

Pasta with Asian Flair - Eggplant and Minced Pork Spaghetti 魚香茄子義大利麵

If you're never a fan of eggplant, this recipe might do the trick. First, heavy Asian seasonings will help in toning down the taste of eggplant. Then the extra minutes cooking time works like magic. About half of the eggplant seemed completely broke down to the sauce, it's a disappearing form of art. 


Not mentioning the umami-added shaved aged Parmigiano Reggiano for the final boost in the end.

Eggplant and minced pork spaghetti 魚香茄子義大利麵 - 

Eggplant and minced pork spaghetti

Ingredients (about 6 portions)?

  • 325 grams coarse ground pork
  • 325 grams fine ground pork 
  • 3 eggplant (I used Chinese long eggplant)
  • 1 pack/500 grams spaghetti
  • 6 garlic clove
  • 2 red chili (optional)
  • 1 stalk scallion
  • 1 tablespoon peeled and chopped ginger
  • 2 tablespoons fermented spicy bean paste 豆瓣醬
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Some salt
  • Some aged Parmigiano Reggiano (optional)

Sauce mixture - 

  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons oyster sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Chinese rice cooking wine 米酒
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar



Bring a big pot of water to a boil and add few pinches of salt to cook the pasta. Add the spaghetti and cook till almost al dente. Save some pasta water first just in case if needed for dilution later on. Drain out the rest and set the pasta aside, or directly add to the sauce mixture if you time the cooking process well.

Peel and chop the garlic cloves. Destem, remove the seeds, and slice the red chilies. Note that we've already used fermented spicy bean paste for this recipe, so only use extra red chilies if you can handle the heat.

Peel and finely chop the ginger, a small chunk should yield about 1 tablespoon chopped ginger. Destem and chop the scallion, it'll be used for garnish in the end.

Slice the eggplant diagonally. If you can't find Chinese long eggplant, the chubby variety will do too.

Eggplant slices

Bring a big pan or a big pot and drizzle 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Turn to medium high heat. Add in chopped garlic, chopped ginger, and some red chilies if using. Give it a quick stir and cook till aromatic but not burnt.

Searing the aromatics

Add 2 tablespoons of fermented spicy bean paste and cook till aromatic. Cooking the fermented spicy bean paste first will greatly help in releasing its aroma. I'm using the well-known Sichuan Pixian brand, which you'll find large pieces of broad beans and chilies inside. 

Cooking fermented spicy bean paste sourced from Sichuan Pixian

Transfer all the ground pork over. I used coarse and fine ground pork for different textures, but just one regular ground pork won't hurt either. Cook till the meat has been separated and looks nearly cooked through.

Cooking ground pork with aromatics

Add in all the ingredients under the "sauce mixture." Stir till evenly blended. Cook for 30 seconds or so.

It's time to add the eggplant slices. It'll take longer here, just need to make sure all the eggplant has been softened, at least 4 minutes. Remember to toss around the eggplant once a while.

Cooking Asian ingredients for spaghetti

Check and see if the sauce needs to dilute furthermore. If so, add some pasta water saved earlier. I didn't use any here.

Mix in cooked pasta and toss till evenly blended with the sauce. Taste and adjust if needed.

Plate and garnish with chopped scallion and shave some aged Parmigiano Reggiano over.

Eggplant and minced pork spaghetti

The shaved cheese is not for the show. In fact, it'll add much more depth to the overall flavor. You've got fermented spicy bean paste and this aged cheese all together, the final taste can be very satisfying.

Eggplant and minced pork spaghetti

Also the cheese helps in reducing the heat from the sauce, which can be quite a helper if someone's tongue is burning from all the chilies.   

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