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Chinese Eggplant + Chicken Stir Fry

Active Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Dairy Free
  • Gluten Free
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Big Kids Plate
Toddler Plate

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Why we love it:

Chinese or Japanese eggplant cook more quickly and more easily than Italian globe eggplant. If you dislike the spongy texture or bitterness of globe eggplants, give these a try! Doused in a sticky sauce over rice, this is a warming and happy meal indeed. Leftovers are wonderful for lunch.


  • 112 cups Basmati Rice (White)
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher Salt (divided)
  • 234 cups Water (divided)
  • 1 pound Chicken Thighs, Boneless/Skinless
  • 1 Tablespoon Cornstarch (divided)
  • 2 Tablespoons Canola Oil (divided)
  • 2 Tablespoons Oyster Sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon Peanut Butter
  • 2 Tablespoons Soy Sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon Honey
  • 1 pound Chinese Eggplant
  • 3 cloves Garlic
  • 1 Red Onion
  • 1 cup Snow Peas

Cooking Instructions

  • 1. RICE

    Wash the rice in clear water 2 times.

    Bring the rice, ½ teaspoon of salt and water to a boil in a small pot. Once boiling, stir well and turn down to low heat. Cover pot tightly with a lid and simmer for 17 minutes. Turn off heat and open to fluff the rice. Cover with a kitchen towel, then the lid, and let it sit until you’re ready to serve.

  • 2. CHICKEN

    Slice the chicken into thin strips and place in a bowl. Toss with the remaining ½ teaspoon of salt, the cornstarch, and 1 teaspoon of oil; turn to coat.

  • 3. SAUCE

    Whisk together the sauce in a small bowl: 2 Tablespoons oyster sauce, 1 Tablespoon peanut butter, 2 Tablespoons soy sauce, 1 Tablespoon honey, and a ¼ cup water. Set aside.

  • 4. CHOP

    Slice the Chinese eggplant into rounds, or half-moon shapes that are about 1 ½ inches. Slice the garlic thinly. Slice the onion into thin strips. Trim the snow peas and remove their strings or stem ends if present.

  • 5. STIR FRY

    Set everything out by the stove. Use your largest pan over the highest heat and add 1 Tablespoon of oil. Add the chicken to the pan and try to spread in one even layer; do 2 batches if needed. Cook for about 2 minutes per side, only trying to flip when they’ve browned and released from the pan. If they stick, leave it alone and turn up the heat. Remove chicken to a plate.

    Add more oil and the eggplant. Sauté for 4 minutes, stirring. Then add the garlic and onion to the pan. Cook until the eggplant is mostly soft and browned, about 3 minutes longer. Add the chicken back in; add the snow peas in.

    Pour in all of the sauce and bring it to a boil. It will start to thicken quickly, stir and as soon as it is glossy and coated, turn off the heat.

    Optional decadence - stir in 1 Tablespoon of butter off the heat until it melts.

  • 6. SERVING

    Serve a bed of rice, topped with stir fry.

Check out our new features!


    use tamari and read the label on your oyster sauce
    omit peanut butter, no need to add anything else
  • HONEY:
    brown sugar
    use white meat if preferred
    try hoisin
    omit and try mushrooms

Kid Friendly Version

Big Kids Plate
Toddler Plate

How to Tweak This Recipe for Kids:

  • Make ingredient swaps to get a win - try broccoli or mushrooms, sliced carrots, or a different type of pea
  • Serve stir fry next to the rice instead of on it

For Toddlers

  • If you’re doing peanut butter, no issue but if not, omit that from the sauce and simply make without it. You could add a little hoisin instead or not
  • Chop the chicken up for them and mash some eggplant
  • If under 1 use brown sugar instead of honey if you’d prefer - “they” say you can cook honey and it’s ok, but do what you’re comfortable with

For Choosy Eaters

  • Sear some chicken plain
  • Sauté some of the veggies plain and add in any vegetables that will help your cause - serve all vegetables separately though
  • Offer the sauce as a dip

Prep Ahead & Use It Up

  1. Marinate the chicken in cornstarch and oil, keep in the fridge for up to 1 day
  2. Stir the sauce together. Bring to room temperature and whisk well before proceeding
  3. Steam the rice ahead. Warm in the microwave
  4. Leftovers are great in the microwave or warmed in a sauté pan
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