Monday, August 16

Braised Hoisin Eggplant and Tofu

For a quick, easy, healthy, and currently in season meal, try braised tofu with eggplant. Braising is one of my favorite methods of cooking. It's a way to maintain moisture in the food, and deepen the flavor of the cooking substance with the braising liquid. Anyway, here is a guideline, a stepping stone for your own tofu and eggplant recipe. Enjoy.

Braised Hoisin Eggplant and Tofu

1/2 block firm or extra firm tofu, water pressed out
1/2 medium to large eggplant, sliced
1 clove garlic, diced
2 T hoisin sauce
1 t chili paste
1 T soy sauce
1 T peanut oil
1/2 t sesame oil
1/4 C water or chicken stock
1/4 C scallions, sliced, for garnish (optional)
1 t sesame seeds, for garnish (optional)

Remove the tofu from the packaging and drain off the water. Place on a plate, covered with paper towels, and place a second plate and a weight on top, allowing to drain for 20-30 minutes. Dice into 1 inch pieces.

Cut the eggplant in half and slice lengthwise. Place sliced in a colander and cover in sea salt and allow to drain for 15-20 minutes. Rinse off salt and pat dry.

Add the peanut oil and sesame oil to a wok or large pan over medium to high heat. Add the diced garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Then add the eggplant. Using a spatula, continue to move around the eggplant so it doesn't stick to the pan or burn. (Keep the peanut oil close by and add another teaspoon or two of oil if necessary, as eggplant soaks up oil.)

Add the diced tofu, soy sauce and hoisin sauce, and cook for 1 minute more. Then add the water and chicken stock and lower heat to medium-low and allow to simmer until the sauce thickens, about 10 minutes.

Remove from heat, serve with white rice, garnish with the scallions and sesame seeds

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