A popular vegan dish from Northern China –DiSanXian (地三鲜) made with the three most common vegetables in the Chinese daily market: potato, eggplants, and green peppers. This dish gives a slightly crispy potato texture, soft eggplant, and fresh green peppers.
What's Di San Xian
Di San Xian (地三鲜) literally can be translated as the three treasures of the earth. In daily cooking, we are more likely to use seasonal and local fresh ingredients. The most famous version is with potatoes, eggplants, and green peppers. But they are never dull! You can combine some of them together and season them with different flavors.
The name Di San xian literally translates to "three fresh ingredients", because all the ingredients are grown on the earth. Traditionally, the ingredients are deep-fried and then coated with a savory sauce. But we will use a shallow frying process which takes longer time and less oil.
How does it taste like
Basically, this dish has a sweet, garlicky, and savory taste. So is typically served with steamed white rice or noodles. The sauce will combine well with the staple food and makes it even better.
Make eggplant easier to cook
Sometimes we feel eggplant is quite hard to cook because it will absorb the oil at the first and make the food become greasy. Here is a tip about how to solve this.
- Soak the eggplants in salty water for around 15 minutes. The water absorbed can help to fasten the cooking process.
- Coat them with cornstarch, this helps to hold the shape of the eggplants.
How to cut the potatoes
You can choose to cut the potatoes either into slices or larger chunks. However, the treatment of the two might be slightly different. If you cut the potato into slices, you can use fry or sautee. However, for larger chunks, we recommend boiling them first and then frying them until a little bite crispy on the surface.
Soak the eggplants in slightly salted water for 15 minutes. Drain and then coat evenly with a thin layer of cornstarch. The eggplants can be softened even with a small amount of water. Drain completely.
In a small bowl, mix all of the stir-frying sauce together.
Heat oil in a wok (recommend adding more oil to fasten the process, do not worry, we will remove extra oil later) to form a 3 cm oil layer.
Place boiled potatoes in and fry until well cooked. Then place the eggplant in and gently fry during the process until well cooked.
Also, fry green pepper for 10 seconds.
Pour extra oil out and leave around ½ tablespoon of cooking oil in. Fry green onion white and garlic until aromatic. Place the stir-fry sauce in.
Wait for a while until boiling. Place potato, green pepper, and eggplants in. Fry until each piece is well coated.
Serve hot with steamed rice.
Other Chinese Eggplants to try
Eggplant is my favorite ingredient for my daily cooking. Following are some of the most delicious eggplant dishes you must have a try.
Di San Xian—Chinese Sautéed Potato Eggplants and Green Peppers
- 2 long eggplants , cut into 2cm chunks
- ¼ cup cornstarch for coating
- 1 potatoes , cut into thick slices or chunks
- 1 green pepper , cut into small pieces
- 1 green onion , white part only, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves , chopped
- oil for frying
- 2 tbsp. light soy sauce
- ¼ tsp. sugar
- ¼ tsp. salt
- ½ tbsp. dark soy sauce
- 1 tsp. cornstarch
- 3 tbsp. water
- Soak the eggplants in slightly salted water for 15 minutes. Drain completely and then coat evenly with a thin layer of cornstarch.
- In a small bowl, mix all of the stir-frying sauce together.
- If you cut potatoes in chunks, then cook the chunks in boiling water for around 4-5 minutes. Transfer out and drain.
- Heat oil in wok (recommend adding more oil to fasten the process, do not worry, we will remove extra oil later) to form a 3 cm oil layer.
- Place potatoes in and fry until the surface becomes slightly crispy. Then place the eggplant in and gently fry during the process until well cooked. Fry green pepper for 10 seconds.
- Pour extra oil out and leave around ½ tablespoon of cooking oil in. Fry green onion and garlic until aromatic. Place the stir fry sauce in. Wait for a while until boiling. Place potato, green pepper and eggplants in. Fry until each piece is well coated.
- Serve hot with steamed rice.
Traditionally, this dish is deep-fried. If you are watching out the daily oil intake, you can fry all the ingredients with less oil. But the later method requires more time and patience.