The first time I tasted garlic eggplant was at a vegetarian restaurant in Santa Cruz. Even though I had grown up eating Chinese food, this particular dish was never made either at my house nor in any of the places where I had eaten all over NYC. The version I tried was tasty enough that I started ordering it more often in places where it was offered, but it never had quite enough garlic for me, so I started making my own and adding a few twists :)
I start by browning on medium high heat about 1 tsp chopped fresh ginger in some oil (use a high smoke point oil use grapeseed or peanut, but olive will do if you watch the heat).
I add one whole medium sized chopped onion and one head of garlic (peeled, ends cut off and any root in the center removed). You may of course use less, but then I would just call this an eggplant recipe;)
If you want to add some heat, add in either your favorite dried chili or pepper flakes to taste at this point.
Once the onions are translucent, add 1 large peeled and chopped eggplant. You don't have to peel your eggplant, but I find the skins can be tough unless you are using Japanese eggplants (if you are, use about 6 instead of 1 large one). Stir and lower heat to medium.
Let the vegetables cook until soft and the eggplant becomes soft, stirring and adding salt and white pepper (black is ok if you don't have white). When the eggplant is fully cooked (taste one to know for sure), add 1 tsp of premium oyster sauce and stir thoroughly.
Just before serving add in some chopped scallions or chives for color and freshness. Served with any grain like kasha, rice, or quinoa, this is a great vegetarian meal :)