If the Chinese Cuisine had a trademark it would probably be the wok. This deep and round inbreed of a pot and a bowl has been used to stir-fry meat and vegetables for hundreds if not thousands of years (if you include its ancestors).
Today’s dish is special because it is cooked in the good old fashioned western style flat pan. Since it undergoes a much less violent way of cooking it has a different texture than the numerous stir-fried eggplants dishes. The eggplants are usually sliced but not diced and the other ingredients are generally more intact too. The sauce is thicker and deeper and the whole dish is a celebration of colors.
Since the name only dictates cooking eggplants in a flat pan this dish has many variations, but usually it a non-spicy vegetarian dish. It’s less common than other popular vegetarian dishes but after spending a few months in China, you might be tired of Red Braised Eggplants (hongshao qiezi) or Riverside Eggplants (yuxiang qiezi). If you are looking for a fresh yet subtle change this just might be the dish you’re looking for, do yourself a favor and ask the waiter whether or not they have píng guō qié zì (平锅茄子). They might make it for you even if it’s not on the menu because it a common dish people cook at home.