Peel the aubergine if you hate the skin, or leave it on if you like the texture and think it looks pretty. Cut lengthways into oblong pieces about the size and length of 2 fingers side by side.
Boil 1 cm (1/2 inch) of water in a wide frying pan, then add the aubergine and cook, stirring occasionally and adding more water as needed, until aubergines are softened to your satisfaction, and very little water remains (about 7 minutes for me).
Remove the aubergine to a bowl, then heat another 1cm water in the pan. Add garlic, ginger and hoisin sauce, then simmer briskly for 10 minutes, stirring and adding more water as needed.
Add the soy sauce and spring onions to the pan, then add the cooked.
aubergine, with a little more water if needed. Cook over a low heat for 5 minutes, stirring to coat the aubergine with the sauce.