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5 from 1 vote

Chinese Eggplant Salad with 5-Spice

This Chinese eggplant is sooo good you just won’t be able to stop eating it! We added Chinese 5 spice which means that all your tastes are covered in this one salad - from sour, bitter, salty, sweet and umami. 
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Salting time30 mins
Total Time1 hr 25 mins
Course: Salad
Cuisine: Chinese
Keyword: Intermediate
Servings: 4 as a side
Calories: 415kcal


For the eggplants

  • 1.2 kg eggplants (approximately 3 medium)
  • ¼ cup coconut oil
  • 2 tsps Chinese 5-Spice powder
  • Coarse sea salt

For the chilli mix

  • 3 long chillis approximately 60 grams
  • 2 bullhorn peppers (or banana capsicums - approximately 80 grams)
  • 1 small onion (approximately 60 grams)
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tablespoon grated ginger

For the Chinese 5-spice Vinaigrette

  • ¼ cup MCT or any other neutral oil
  • 2 tbsps sesame oil
  • ¼ cup rice vinegar (use non-seasoned for keto and lime juice for gluten-free)
  • 2 tbsps soy sauce (use coconut aminos or tamari for keto & gluten free)
  • ½ teaspoon Chinese 5-Spice powder


  • Wash your eggplants cut off the tops and bottoms and slice into 2.5 cm (½ inch rounds).
  • Place in a colander in layers and salt each layer, let stand for 30 minutes.
  • Preheat your oven to 220°C (430°F).
  • Wash and remove the seeds your chillis (leave the seeds if you like the heat) then slice thinly.
  • Wash your bullhorn capsicum (pepper) remove the core and seeds then chop into small dice.
  • Remove the papery skin from your onion and chop into a small dice.
  • Heat a large frypan on medium to high heat, add 1 tablespoon of sesame oil, add your sliced chillis, the diced capsicum and onion and sauté until soft (2-3 minutes).
  • Mince your garlic clove and grate 1 tablespoon of ginger and add to your frypan and cook until aromatic (approximately 2-3 minutes).
  • Pat your eggplant dry, and place on a lined baking tray, drizzle with the coconut oil and 1 teaspoon of the Chinese 5 Spice powder.
  • Place on the middle rack of your oven and cook until golden on one side (approximately 15-20 minutes).
  • Turn your eggplant over and sprinkle with the other teaspoon of Chinese 5 spice and drizzle some additional oil if your eggplant is looking a bit dry. Return to the oven and cook for a further 10-15 minutes).
  • Wash your coriander (cilantro), pat dry and chop roughly, place to one side.
  • Add all your vinaigrette ingredients to a glass jar and shake until emulsified (there is no need to season as there will be enough seasoning from the salted eggplant and from heat from the chillies).
  • Arrange your eggplants on a round platter, pour over your dressing, then place your chilli mix on top of the eggplant, scatter the chopped coriander on top of the chilli mix and serve when you are ready.


Calories: 415kcal | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 35g | Saturated Fat: 25g | Sodium: 519mg | Potassium: 884mg | Fiber: 10g | Sugar: 14g | Vitamin A: 390IU | Vitamin C: 58mg | Calcium: 54mg | Iron: 2mg