Sichuan eggplant in garlic sauce vs. yu hsiang eggplant
Are they essentially the same thing? Comparing recipes, they appear to be...
Essentially yes they are, although what you get in US Chinese restaurants as eggplant in garlic sauce will probably not be as good as yu xiang qiezi made from say Fuchsia Dunlop's recipe. Yu xiang is often translated as (and written in the characters for) "fish flavor" but Barbara Tropp posited and I agree that the base meaning is from the old names for Sichuan (Yu) and Hunan (Xiang), neighboring provinces with similar cuisines. "Fish flavor"dishes do not taste like fish and do not use ingredients that are invariably used with fish - but they do use an ingredient (doubanjiang, hot bean paste) that is widely used in Sichuan and Hunan food.