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Monday, September 2, 2013

Gluten Free Baby Thai Eggplant Stir Fry (Soy-Free option)

Free of gluten, dairy, nuts, seafood, meat, eggs and with soy-free option

Have you seen those adorable teeny weeny green Thai eggplants at the farmers market or you CSA box yet? Wondering what to do with those little baby eggplants?

This simple gluten free Baby Thai Eggplant stir fry is a slightly sweet and spicy way to use up a bunch of local, in season veggies from the farmers market, CSA box or (if you're really lucky) your own garden.

Thai eggplant has a very mild taste compared to the usual bitter eggplant, and they absorb flavours wonderfully, so it doesn't take a lot of sauce to make baby eggplant flavourful. They also require much less preparation than regular, large purple eggplant, which usually needs to be salted and left to drain for awhile.

Last week on My Gluten Free, Locavore-ish Weekly Meal Plan I noted that I would do something with some Thai eggplant I picked up at the farmers market, and after scrolling through my notes I found the recipe I used last year when I bought these for the first time.  (BTW, my apologies to those of you who went to the post last week and saw a duplicate of my How & Why I Meal Plan post! I have no idea how that happened but it's fixed now).

To make this recipe gluten free and / or soy  free: 

Personally I use either San-J Gluten Free Tamari Soy Sauce (Organic) OR Bragg Liquid Amino, both are naturally wheat and gluten free soy sauce alternatives. My husband likes Bragg better than regular soy sauce, and he can have gluten! * Note that both have soy in them.

To make stir fry gluten AND soy free, I suggest trying Coconut Secret Raw Coconut Aminos, which is a pretty good substitute for soy sauce, if not a bit milder and less salty. 

Ingredients for eggplant stir fry (minus eggplants)

Ingredients: (serves 2-3)

2 Tbsp coconut or olive oil for frying
1" piece of ginger, peeled and minced
1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
1 basket Thai eggplant, washed and sliced in 1/2 or 1/4 wedges, depending on size*
1 carrot, peeled and thinly sliced on an angle*
1/2 red pepper, thinly sliced*


1/4 c GF stock or water
2 Tbsp Gluten Free Tamari Soy Sauce (Organic)  OR Bragg Liquid Amino OR Coconut Secret Raw Coconut Aminos + more for serving (optional)
1 Tbsp  Rice Vinegar 
1/4 -1/2  tsp Chili Paste (according to desired level of heat)
1 Tbsp lime juice
1 Tbsp honey OR brown sugar
1 Tbsp tapioca starch mixed with 1 Tbsp water, then mixed into the rest of the sauce

6oz brown rice or rice vermicelli noodles, cooked according to package instructions


1. Mix together sauce ingredients, heating in microwave or in a small pot over low heat for 20-30 seconds to mix honey/sugar with sauce.

2. In a large skillet over medium heat, heat oil and add ginger and garlic. Saute 1 minute to release scent.

3.  Add eggplant and saute 5 - 7 minutes, until eggplant begins to soften. Add carrot and pepper and remaining sauce and saute another 7-10 minutes, until vegetables are soft and sauce is thickened. 

Serve overcooked rice or vermicelli noodles.

*Oral Allergy Syndrome Information: Eggplant, peppers and carrots are all associated with OAS. However, the long cooking time *should* denature the allergen proteins, making them safer to eat. If you're allergic to any of these, use your discretion, though, and substitute with other veggies if desired.

Oh! And I just have to point out that I got the cutest chopsticks at the Asian market recently! Not only do they come as a mixed variety pack, which make them great for different photos, but I love the title of them. 

Now all I need are some special guests to come on over so I can serve them with my Special Guest Chopsticks :)

Aren't they cute?

Have you tried Thai eggplant? What did you do with it?

Looking for more Asian recipes? Check out some of these dishes!


This post was shared on the following great link parties: Waste Not Want Not Wednesday, Slightly Indulgent Tuesday, Traditional Tuesdays, Fat Tuesday, From the Hearth and Soul HopGluten free Wednesdays, Allergy Free Wednesday, Whole Food Wednesday, Wildcrafting Wednesday, Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways, 


  1. Can't wait to try this. Looks amazing...Pinning it for later.

    1. I hope you like it! Eggplant soaks up the flavours wonderfully :)

  2. This looks delicious! I haven't tried Thai eggplant, I was really interested to learn about it. I really like the flavours you have used in this recipe - ginger and garlic are so tasty together. Love the chopsticks!

    1. Thanks, April! I don't think you can ever go wrong with ginger and garlic :0) Any time I start frying it my husband comes from whatever corner of the apartment he's in and asks enthusiastically "Whatcha' making? It smells really good." This before anything else even hits the pan ;)

  3. Hi, I would like to make this recipe.
    How eggplants do I need? In the picture, there are about 8. Do I need more or less?
    Thank you.

    1. I bought one basket of Thai eggplant at the farmers market (I think it was about half a pound-ish), and you're right, there were about 8-10 little ones in there and I used them all. I hope that helps!

  4. My friend is planning to visit on my house and I'm looking for a recipe that I can serve to him. I think this one is perfect to him because he's a vegetarian. I will definitely make this for him. Thanks for sharing!

    Easy Stir Fry


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