Paleo Chinese eggplant recipe in garlic sauce with minced meat is healthy, low carb, gluten-free, and Whole30 from I Heart Umami.
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5 from 22 votes

Paleo Chinese Eggplant in Garlic Sauce (Whole30, Gluten-Free)

Paleo Chinese Eggplant in Garlic Sauce with buttery and melt-in-your-mouth eggplants, braised in a garlic sauce. This eggplant recipe is vinegary, naturally sweet, and savory, plus it’s Paleo, Whole30, and gluten-free. 
Course Main Course
Cuisine Asian, Chinese
Keyword Chinese eggplant recipes, Eggplant with garlic sauce, Paleo Chinese Eggplant In Garlic Sauce, Paleo Eggplant recipes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Calories 216kcal
Author ChihYu


  • 1.5 lbs Chinese eggplants or globe eggplants (see notes)
  • 3 tbsp avocado oil
  • 0.5 lb ground pork , or any other types of ground meat
  • 0.5 tsp coarse sea salt , plus more
  • 0.25 tsp ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp minced garlic (~4 to 5 large cloves)
  • 0.2 oz. Chinese dry red chilies or ½ tsp crushed red pepper flakes

Paleo Chinese Garlic Sauce:


  • 1 tsp arrowroot starch
  • 2 tbsp cold water
  • 2 bulbs scallions , chopped (garnish)
  • Toasted sesame seeds (optional)


  • Rinse and pat dry the eggplants. Slice of the stem end with a sharp knife. Make a few small incision cuts in 45-degree angle to remove the stem. Quarter the eggplants in lengthwise then dice to 2.5 to 3-inch long sections.
  • Mince garlic, chop scallions, Combine Paleo Chinese garlic sauce from coconut aminos to rice vinegar in one bowl, and make the slurry with arrowroot and cold water in another bowl.
  • In a well-heated large saute pan, add 1.5 tbsp avocado oil, fry the ground meat over medium-high heat until it’s cooked through and break up to fine pieces, about 2-3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Add minced garlic and chilies, and season with another pinch of salt. Fry with the ground meat for 1 minute. Add eggplants and 1.5 tbsp oil, and season with another pinch of salt. Stir-fry for 3 to 4 minutes.
  • Pour in the garlic sauce. Gently push the eggplants down to touch the liquid. Cover with a lid. Cook over medium heat for 3-4 minutes, stirring every 2 minutes. Once the eggplants turn softer, stir the slurry one more time then pour it into the pan. Stir-fry for 10-15 seconds to thicken the sauce.
  • Off heat, garnish with scallions and toasted sesame seeds, if using. Serve hot or in room temperature with cauliflower rice or zucchini noodles for Paleo and Whole30. You can also serve it with steamed rice and cooked rice noodles for a gluten-free meal.


If using globe eggplants, quarter the eggplants and dice to about 2-inch cubes.
In the photo, I also serve the eggplants with blistered shishito pepper and that’s completely optional.
You can also skip the ground meat to make this eggplant dish vegan-friendly!


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 216kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 27mg | Sodium: 362mg | Potassium: 425mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 5.5% | Vitamin C: 4.7% | Calcium: 2% | Iron: 4.4%