Eggplant Adobo Recipe (2024)

By Kay Chun

Published Jan. 19, 2024

Eggplant Adobo Recipe (1)

Total Time
40 minutes
Prep Time
10 minutes
Cook Time
30 minutes
Rating
4(1,271)
Notes
Read community notes

This superpunchy, one-skillet vegetarian meal is inspired by chicken adobo, a beloved Filipino dish. Here, eggplant cooks in rich, tangy adobo sauce — a blend of soy sauce, vinegar, garlic, black pepper and bay leaf — absorbing the savory flavors as it simmers. Coconut milk is added in some versions of adobo, creating a rich, silky texture to balance out the sauce’s tart notes. This recipe includes a shower of fragrant basil, which brings a fresh hit that lifts the dish. (Thinly sliced scallions would also be great.) Serve the eggplant over rice to catch all of its flavorful drippings.

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Ingredients

Yield:4 servings

  • 5tablespoons neutral oil, such as canola or safflower
  • pounds eggplant (preferably small Italian eggplant), cut into 1-inch cubes (about 8 cups)
  • Kosher salt and pepper
  • ¼cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • ¼cup unsweetened coconut milk
  • 2tablespoons distilled white vinegar
  • 1tablespoon turbinado or light brown sugar
  • ½white onion, thinly sliced
  • 3garlic cloves, minced
  • 1fresh or dried bay leaf
  • ¼cup chopped basil, plus additional small leaves for garnish
  • Steamed jasmine rice, for serving

Ingredient Substitution Guide

Nutritional analysis per serving (4 servings)

315 calories; 21 grams fat; 4 grams saturated fat; 0 grams trans fat; 11 grams monounsaturated fat; 5 grams polyunsaturated fat; 29 grams carbohydrates; 6 grams dietary fiber; 9 grams sugars; 5 grams protein; 675 milligrams sodium

Note: The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

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Eggplant Adobo Recipe (2)

Preparation

  1. Step

    1

    In a 12-inch nonstick skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil over medium. Add half of the eggplant, season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden, 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate and repeat with 2 tablespoons of the oil and the remaining eggplant.

  2. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine soy sauce, coconut milk, vinegar, sugar, ½ teaspoon pepper and 2 tablespoons of water; mix well.

  3. Step

    3

    Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil and the onion to the skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly golden, 3 minutes. Add garlic and stir until fragrant, 1 minute.

  4. Step

    4

    Add the browned eggplant, soy sauce mixture and bay leaf and toss to evenly coat. Cover, reduce heat to low and cook, stirring every 5 minutes, until the eggplant is tender but still has structure, about 10 minutes. Uncover and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the sauce thickens and nicely coats the eggplant, about 2 minutes longer. Season with salt and pepper and stir in the chopped basil.

  5. Step

    5

    Divide the eggplant mixture over rice among bowls. Garnish with basil leaves and serve warm.

Ratings

4

out of 5

1,271

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Cooking Notes

Archdruid 1

Eggplant with little oil. Take eggplant slices, put on a paper towel lined plate. 4 to 5 minutes in your microwave (depends on the power of your microwave). Almost all water is gone and sponge barriers are collapsed. Now start your recipe.

Jens

I suggest you use the rest of the can of coconut milk to make coconut rice! It would be a perfect pairing with this dish. Just sub the coconut milk for water 1:1

Alex

I'd toss the eggplant cubes in oil and salt and put in a hot 450f oven for 15 mins (on a tray with baking paper - no cleanup). Brown onions etc in parallel on the stove. It's my go to method for eggplant these days - less oil; can go hotter if you want to get a bit of charring going.

MOL

I grew up eating Eggplant Adobo (Adobong Talong). At our home, the eggplant was pan fried, roasted or grilled in coals. Yea to salting beforehand. The sauce ingredients are mided with some cornstarch. Then, oil is heated on a pan. Chopped garlic is sautéed until fragrant. Then the sauce mixture is added. Once the sauce has blended and starts to thicken, the eggplant is added. Served with minced raw garlic sprinkled on top. We add ground pork sometimes too. Or tofu.

Chef Kris

It has been noticed over the years that to properly get the consistent firm eggplant that will not be mushy when cooked, you must first salt it. I lay it out on a paper towel lined sheet pan or cookie pan. Then salt it and let sit in a cooler for 4 hours.

Harold

You have to be joking! two tablespoons of oil for 8 cups of eggplant! My suggestion is to use as much as it takes and that will be a lot more than 2 tablespoons. Eggplant absorbs oil like kitchen paper. Perhaps you might get by with two tablespoons if you stir the eggplant in the two tablespoons and then put the eggplant into a very hot oven for 20 minutes or so.

andy

My eggplant did not brown up in 5 mins. Took more like 15 in two separate batches. Just fyi

Sharon

As per another suggestion: salt your eggplant and let it drain; especially if you are using the typical globe eggplant you find in the supermarkets. I find if I use the really slim eggplants (traditionally used in Thai cooking); you don't need to use a ton of oil and they brown quickly. Added bonus, they don't need to be salted either! I can't find them at my supermarket consistently (unless I go to a Chinese market...and then it is iffy), so I grow these in the summer months.

AnnieS

Toss the eggplant cubes in olive oil, salt, pepper, and oregano then roast rather than frying. Healthier, less messy, and flavorful.

Lisa vS

For those worried about extra coconut milk, just freeze the rest in a canning jar. Nice to have on hand. Though I also second the coconut rice suggestion.

Deirdre

What is a good substitute for coconut milk?

Ellen Terry

I sometimes use 3/4 cup whole milk yogurt mixed with 1/4 cup milk to replace coconut milk in curries.

Sher

I prefer baking Eggplant, seasonings & olive oil until just soft & then slice/dice & add to other ingredients. Less oil, less work & better flavor.

BrurtallyFrank

Recipe looks good but I'm really not going to open up a can of coconut milk just to use 1/4 cup.

Naima

Freeze the rest.

Darien Morea

One large Italian eggplant yielded 7 cups. The sauce was too vinegary for my taste, so I added 1/2 cup more coconut milk to the initial batch of sauce before pouring it in. (So I used 1/2 can of coconut milk in total.) The final result, served over rice, was very tasty. I'd make it again.

Niki

I own a small catering company delivering meals to folk. I offer a daily vegetarian option and with aubergines being in season here in South Africa, I made this dish. Well, it was such a hit! So much so that it has now become a regular menu item with non-vegetarians ordering as well.

Greg G

This recipe is a mess. First off the photo shows a reddish sauce, but there are no ingredients that will make it that color. The description says it is zesty but it came out quite dull, and only chili garlic sauce and more soy sauce made it palatable. The reader suggested use of making coconut rice also backfired. The coconut fat all globbed up top. You are better off ordering pizza!

Barbara

Great weeknight recipe! I tossed the eggplant cubes in oil, salt and pepper as recommended, then roasted it in a 450 degree oven for about 15 - 20 minutes. Perfect. I also added some ground pork that I dressed with some Xiaoxing wine, soy and a little sugar - stir fried it up after the onions and garlic. My husband has to be careful with carbs, so I served it over some soba (more fiber and protein than rice) and it was excellent. This goes into the rotation, for sure.

Steve G

I was a little nervous trying this out as I am not a diehard fan of eggplant (although I adore eggplant parmesan and will eat heaps of it). This dish impressed me, however. The eggplant came out both firm and tender and the sauce permeated the dish without being too thick or thin. I would make two changes: I added a little extra spice to make the flavors more noticeable, and I wish I had removed the skin from the eggplant as well as it is hard to chew through.

CC is cooking

Made with roasted aubergine. Too much soy sauce. Recommend less soy and more coconut.

Nick

Tasty, but I swear this yields, like, 1.5 servings.

steve

I replaced egg plant with squash and added veggie meat balls. Family liked it

lauryn

Very tasty. I added asparagus because I had it on hand. I also substituted Chinese vinegar for white vinegar and it added some depth to the flavor.

Diane H

Maybe it would taste better with thin chinese eggplant. Made it as directed with Italian eggplant but did not like it. I've made Adobo with chicken and salmon in the past---both were so much better.

thatsnotmyname

This was so good even my husband liked it and he usually is so sad on eggplant nights.

Gave

Really excellent, flavorful and a little bit tart. I salted the eggplant, let it sit for 10 minutes and blotted up the condensation before I cooked. The eggplant texture was solid but silky and lovely.

wendyonmaui

I made the coconut rice with the extra coconut milk. Next time I’ll also add a smashed lemongrass stick . I added some leftover roasted carrots and about a half cup of the coconut milk instead of 1/4 cup. My usual adobo is quite vinegary and I don’t use coconut milk, but this sauce still was delicious and was great on the rice over some baby salad greens. I didn’t have basil but added green onions to serve it. I will up the vinegar next time but none the less, this will be in my new shortlist.

Afi

I microwaved my eggplant which basically cooked it. Then I followed the recipe. Next time I'll try oven roasting it. Either way the dish tastes great.

smathasi

We really loved this recipe! We made a crispy tofu to go with it, which made it a little more filling without compromising the flavor and focus on the eggplant.

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Eggplant Adobo Recipe (2024)

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