Di San Xian – Stir Fried Eggplant, Potato and Pepper

Adapted from Judy Leung

The Chinese name, 地三鲜, for this signature northern Chinese dish translates to “three delights from the earth.”


3 cloves garlic
2 scallions 
1½ tablespoons cornstarch
3 tablespoons water
2 long Chinese eggplants cut on an angle into large bite-sized pieces, or one medium globe eggplant, cubed
½ pound potatoes peeled and cut on an angle into large bite-sized pieces
1 bell pepper, any color, or equivalent of smaller peppers (about 1 cup) cut into large bite-sized pieces
4 tablespoons oil
1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine
2 tablespoons soy sauce
½ teaspoon sugar
¼ teaspoon white pepper
½ teaspoon sesame oil
Salt to taste
Cooked rice, for serving


Smash and peel the garlic, chop the scallions, and mix the cornstarch with the water in a small bowl. Set aside.

Wash and wipe all the vegetables dry using a clean kitchen towel (this is key!) before cutting them into large bite-sized pieces. Don’t let the cut potato and eggplant sit for too long before cooking, because they will oxidize and become discolored.

Heat the oil in your wok or frying pan over medium heat. Add the potato, and brown lightly for about 8 minutes until cooked through. Stir occasionally to avoid burning. Now add the bell peppers, and stir-fry for another minute. Transfer everything to a dish and set aside.

There should be oil left in the wok. Add the eggplant and brown slightly. Spread the eggplant pieces into a single layer, cover the lid for a minute, uncover, stir the eggplant to avoid burning, then repeat. Do this 2-3 times until the eggplant is cooked through. Transfer to a dish.

Add a bit of oil if the wok is very dry at this point, no additional oil needed if the pan is still oiled. Add the garlic, cook it for a few seconds, and add all the vegetables back to the wok. Now quickly add the Shaoxing wine, light soy sauce, sugar, white pepper, and sesame oil. Stir and mix everything well. Time to turn up the heat and add the cornstarch slurry (stir well before adding, as the cornstarch settles to the bottom) and the scallions. 

Stir a couple of times to coat the vegetables with sauce, add salt to taste, and you’re ready to serve!