This recipe originally calls for tofu and eggplant. I chose it kind of last minute, since it was a great way to use up the eggplant that Anthony brought over the day of the brunch. John and I decided to just go ahead without the tofu and to add about one and a half cups of sliced mushrooms.
I'd say that this recipe is really solid. It didn't blow my mind, but it was really good and heats up well as leftovers. And when I consider the cost-to-flavor ratio, I'd say it's pretty amazing.
Since this is pretty cheap, I think we'll probably make it again, before eggplant disappears for fall. Like Kira says, this has a lot of ingredients, but I make enough Asian-style recipes that I have things like hoisin sauce and sesame oil on hand. It's worth the effort to get them and then continue making recipes that call for them (if you like Asian food, like I do).
(Tofu and) Eggplant in Spicy Garlic Sauce
from Cook, Pray, Love.
Yields 4 servings
1 pound extra-firm tofu (not silken)
1 tbsp reduced sodium soy sauce
2 tbsp. water
1/2 tsp dark sesame oil
1 large eggplant, peeled and sliced
1/3 cup water
6-8 garlic cloves, minced–about 2 tbsp.
1-inch peeled fresh ginger, grated
3/4 cup vegetable broth or water
1 tbsp vegetarian hoisin sauce
3 tbsp reduced sodium soy sauce
3 tbsp rice vinegar
1/2 tbsp dark sesame oil
1/2 tbsp sugar
3 tsp hot chili sauce (like Sriracha) (original recipe calls for 1/2-1 tsp if you prefer it more mild)
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 tomato, coarsely chopped
sprinkling of sesame seeds for garnish (optional)
Cut the tofu into 1/2-inch slices and press them lightly between towels to get some of the moisture out. Combine the 3 tbsp. soy sauce with the 2 tbsp. water and 1/2 tsp. sesame oil. Dip each slice of tofu into the mixture and set on a plate.
Heat an oiled, non-stick skillet until hot. Place the tofu slices in the skillet and cook until browned. Turn over and brown the other sides. When the tofu is completely browned on both sides, remove it from the skillet and place it on a cutting board. Cut each slice into 8-10 cubes. Set aside.
Heat an oiled, non-stick wok and add the eggplant and 1/3 cup water. Cover and cook, stirring often, until eggplant begins to brown. Uncover and add the garlic and ginger and cook for 2 more minutes.
Add all remaining ingredients except the tomato, sesame seeds, and tofu. Simmer uncovered until all the eggplant slices are completely cooked–they will be very soft and start to fall apart. Add the tofu cubes and tomato and cook until heated through. Serve over rice, sprinkled with sesame seeds.*
*We forgot the sesame seeds, but added about 1/3 cup of chopped cilantro to the rice. It complimented everything perfectly.