Vietnamese Black Bean Aubergines

This beautiful black bean aubergine recipe from Uyen Luu’s Vietnamese Vegetarian cookery book delivers maximum flavour for very little effort, taking only 10 minutes to prep and 20 minutes to cook. If you like, you can also make the sauce ahead of time and reheat when ready to serve

Vietnamese Black Bean Aubergines

Read our full review of Vietnamese Vegetarian by Uyen Luu.

Vietnamese Black Bean Aubergines
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5 from 1 vote

Black Bean Aubergines (cà tím xào sốt tương đen)

The enticing, seared golden criss-cross on these aubergine (eggplant) slices is definitely a crowd-pleaser. Don’t tell anyone how easy this is to prepare. Note that shop-bought black bean sauces will vary from brand to brand; some may be sweeter and others may be saltier. Adjust accordingly, add sugar or maple syrup if needed or, if salty, use less and mellow out with a splash of water and reduce the soy sauce. Always taste and balance out the flavours.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings 4
Author Uyen Luu


  • 2 aubergines (eggplants)
  • 2 tablespoons rapeseed (canola oil)
  • 2 teaspoons ghee
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed or finely chopped
  • 20 g (¾ oz) spring onions (scallions), sliced thinly lengthways
  • 3-4 tablespoons black bean sauce
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup
  • squeeze of lemon or lime juice, plus zest
  • 1 bird’s eye chilli, sliced (optional)


Make the sauce ahead of time without the spring onions (scallions), and when ready to serve, reheat with spring onions. You can also sear the aubergines (eggplants) ahead and keep warm in a 70°C (158°F) fan oven or reheat in the microwave when ready to serve. Feel free to use extra herbs like coriander (cilantro) leaves and Thai basil, garnish with fresh chilli or flakes, toasted sesame seeds, nori strips, nuts and seeds.


  • Slice the aubergine lengthways into 4 x 1 cm (1/2 in) thick pieces. Using a sharp knife, score lines 3 mm (1/4 in) into the flesh to make a grid on both sides. Using a pastry brush, thinly paint the oil on all sides of the aubergine.
  • In a large frying pan (skillet) over a high heat, place the slices of aubergine flat onto the pan and sear for 5 minutes on each side. Set aside in a single layer on a serving platter.
  • In a small saucepan over a medium heat, add the ghee and cook the garlic until it catches colour, then add the spring onions, black bean sauce, soy sauce and maple syrup. Bring to a simmer for 2–3 minutes then pour all over the surface of the seared aubergine slices. To serve, squeeze over lime juice plus its zest and bird’s eye chilli (if using).
  • Serve as a side dish or enjoy with steamed rice, sticky rice with mung beans or vermicelli noodle salad bowls.

Aubergines are one of our favourite vegetables, and so versatile. Find all our aubergine recipes here.

You can find more Vietnamese recipes here.

Recipe from Vietnamese Vegetarian by Uyen Luu published with permission from Hardie Grant. Book photography by Uyen Luu. 

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4 Comments to "Vietnamese Black Bean Aubergines"

  1. Snigdha

    Hi Kavey,
    It’s great to see Uyen has a new book out. This recipe looks simple and delicious.
    Thank you so much for posting this!


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