Giant’s Sweet and Sour Eggplant

yield: 2 qts. (I think)

Special Equipment

  • large, heavy bottomed pot for deep-frying
  • wide heavy bottomed pot for marinade
  • thermometer that reads up to 400f.
  • non reactive container to marinate
  • a gram scale that reads up to 1kg.
  • wooden spoon
  • a fry basket or spider to remove eggplant from hot oil
  • cheesecloth


  • Japanese Eggplant, sliced 2” thick, 500g.
  • Sweet yellow onion, sliced 2” thick, 160g.
  • Plums, just ripe, halved with the pit removed, 250g.
  • Garlic, sliced thick, 50g.
  • Lemongrass, just the tender part, sliced thin, 7g.
  • Ginger, minced, 27g.
  • Scallion, green and white, sliced thick, 13g.
  • Fresh thai chili, whole, in cheesecloth (don’t substitute dried), 11g
  • Gochujang, hot, 66g.
  • Soybean paste, fermented with mushroom, 24g.
  • Rice wine vinegar, 230g.
  • Sugar, 138g.
  • Chinese hot mustard powder, 16g.
  • Tamari, 40g.
  • Fish sauce, 14g.
  • Sesame oil, 3g.
  • Green coriander (or fresh cilantro leaf), 15g.
  • Peanut oil for deep frying. Substitute any canola or vegetable oil if you like.
  1. In a wide, heavy bottomed pot heat a few tablespoons of the peanut oil until it is almost smoking.
  2. Add the ginger, garlic, lemongrass, and scallion all at once
  3. Let it sizzle for a few seconds and then move it around briskly (so cheffy) with a wooden spoon. Don’t let it burn or else a puppy will die.
  4. Add the soybean paste and gochujang and continue to not kill puppies.
  5. Once it smells deep and caramelized add the rice vinegar, sugar, and hot mustard.
  6. Whisk all of the ingredients together and add the sachet of the chili. Bring to a boil.
  7. Turn down to a simmer and cook until the mixture thickens noticeably.
  8. Turn off and let rest
  9. Fill another pot ¼ of the way with oil and heat to 350f.
  10. In batches, being very careful not to boil over, fry the eggplant and onions until golden brown.
  11. Remove them from the oil and place directly into the marinade
  12. Once all of the eggplant and onions are in the marinade, transfer to a non reactive dish and let come to room temperature
  13. Add the fish sauce, tamari, sesame oil, and coriander/cilantro
  14. Remove the sachet of thai chili and give it a good squeeze to get all of the juice out of it.
  15. In a small skillet, heat a few tablespoons of oil and cook the plums, cut side down, until the are almost black. Cut them into a large dice and add to the eggplant.
  16. Let sit for a few hours before serving.
  17. If refrigerating, make sure to let it come to room temperature before serving.