Spicy Eggplant and Zucchini Stir-Fry with Plant-Based Meat

Similar in texture to ground beef with a rich, meaty flavor, plant-based crumbles are a perfect addition to quick-cooking stir-fries. Here, the eggplant and zucchini cook quickly, absorbing plenty of flavor from the chile-garlic and soy sauces, without getting overly tender. Fresh cilantro adds an extra pop of freshness to the finished stir-fry; serve over brown or white rice for a fast and filling weeknight meal.

Eggplant and Chili Garlic Stir-Fry with Plant-Based Meat
Photo: Photo by Ellen Mary Cronin / Food and prop styling by Radin+Croney Collective
Active Time:
20 mins
Total Time:
20 mins


  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided

  • 1 pound Japanese eggplant, cut into 3/4-inch pieces

  • ½ cup chopped yellow onion

  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic

  • 8 ounces plant-based "meat" crumbles

  • 1 medium zucchini, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

  • 2 tablespoons chili garlic sauce

  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce

  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar

  • Freshly cracked black pepper, for serving

  • Fresh cilantro leaves, for serving

  • Cooked brown or white rice, for serving


  1. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add eggplant; cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown and mostly tender, about 5 minutes. Remove eggplant from pan with a slotted spoon, and set aside.

  2. Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil to skillet. Add onion and garlic; cook, stirring frequently, until onion is translucent, about 1 minute. Add plant-based "meat" crumbles and cook, stirring frequently and breaking larger crumbles into smaller pieces, until browned, about 5 minutes.

  3. Stir in zucchini, chili garlic sauce, soy sauce, and rice vinegar. Cook, stirring occasionally, until zucchini is tender, about 3 minutes. Stir in reserved eggplant and cook, stirring occasionally, until eggplant is tender and has absorbed some of the sauce, about 2 minutes. Transfer stir-fry to a serving platter or divide evenly among plates. Garnish with black pepper and fresh cilantro leaves.

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