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Firecracker Eggplant with Carrot Slaw

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

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Why we love it:

Firecracker sauce toes the line between buffalo sauce and teriyaki. It thickens and glazes whatever you put it on while it cooks - and it is so simple to make. We love this type of sticky, rich sauce on eggplant but check the substitutions list for plenty of ideas if that’s not your favorite. You can keep this sauce in the fridge for weeks and try it on a variety of veggies, fish, rice or noodles.


  • 1 cup Basmati Rice (White)
  • 34 teaspoon Kosher Salt (divided)
  • 2 cloves Garlic
  • 12 cup Hot Sauce (like Frank’s RedHot)
  • 34 cup Brown Sugar (packed)
  • 1 Tablespoon Soy Sauce
  • 3 Tablespoons Cider Vinegar (divided)
  • 14 teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes
  • 2 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter
  • 2 pounds Eggplant
  • 2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil (divided)
  • 3 Carrots
  • 12 head Red Cabbage (or green)
  • 12 bunch Green Onion

Cooking Instructions

  • 2. RICE

    Place 1 cup white rice and 1 ½ cup water in a small pot with ½ teaspoon of salt. Bring to a boil and stir well; turn heat to lowest setting and cover. Steam for 17 minutes without stirring. Turn off heat and fluff; cover until ready to serve.


    Mince the garlic and place it in a small saucepan. Add ½ cup hot sauce, ¾ cup (packed) brown sugar, 1 Tablespoon soy sauce, 1 Tablespoon cider vinegar, ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes, and a pinch of kosher salt. Bring to a simmer and whisk until smooth, simmer for 7 minutes or until it’s slightly thickened. Turn off the heat, add butter and whisk until it’s melted.


    Dice the eggplant into large cubes or long strips. Add them to a baking sheet and arrange in one layer. Sprinkle with ½ teaspoon salt and a little bit of black pepper to taste; drizzle with about ½ of the oil. Cook for about 14 minutes, stopping to stir once, until the eggplant is getting soft and golden brown.


    Pour about ½ of the sauce evenly over the eggplant and stir again. Place it back in the oven and roast for 5 minutes. Slide the pan out of the oven and spoon the sauce from the bottom of the skillet over the eggplant. Pour the remaining reserved sauce over the top. Return to the oven and roast another 5 -7 minutes more or until the sauce is thick and nicely glazing the pieces.

  • 6. SLAW

    While the eggplant is roasting, shred the carrots on a box grater or in a food processor. Shred the cabbage finely with a knife; add both to a bowl. Add the remaining Tablespoon or so of olive oil, a pinch of salt, and 2 Tablespoons cider vinegar. Using clean hands, massage the cabbage until it softens and wilts a bit. Let it sit.

  • 7. SERVING

    Serve eggplant over rice and with slaw. Garnish with sliced green onion.

Check out our new features!


    use tamari instead of regular soy sauce
    roast the sauce on shrimp or drizzle over seared or grilled fish filets
    this sauce is great any roasted veggies, tofu, or mushrooms
    serve without it or use brown rice or noodles

Kid Friendly Version

Big Kids Plate
Toddler Plate

How to Tweak This Recipe for Kids:

  • Eggplant is a tough sell for most kids - make a vegetable medley or skewers for them. Mushrooms, cauliflower, corn, peppers, tofu are all good ideas
  • If they aren’t vegetarians, add chicken or shrimp or salmon while roasting
  • The sauce has a kick for sure, you can omit it for them entirely, or just keep their veggies separate and drizzle a little over it
  • Or, to make the sauce, add all of the ingredients except the hot sauce and bring to a simmer for 2 minutes. Spoon out a Tablespoon or so into a small bowl, add 1 teaspoon of butter and stir to melt. Finish your sauce with the hot sauce and as directed. Toss their portion with the sauce your separated out and roast as directed to glaze

For Toddlers

  • I’d steam or roast some green vegetable and add fruit

For Choosy Eaters

  • Roast veggies without sauce. You could add garlic powder and butter while roasting
  • Add a scrambled or hard cooked egg to the plate

Prep Ahead & Use It Up

  1. Make the sauce, let it cook and reheat a little bit before using, just enough so that it will drip off a spoon
  2. Cook rice, microwave to serve
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