Monday, June 17, 2013

Hoisin Eggplant with Tofu

I didn't realize how much I liked eggplant until I tried a Japanese eggplant over a traditional Italian eggplant. Japanese eggplants are thin and long and have a lot less water in them, making them tender and soft without being rubbery. A long, slow cooking process yields the best result in my opinion. In the end you will be left with a caramelized, naturally sweet piece of eggplant that is perfectly tender without being mush. If you can't find Japanese eggplants, simply substitute for one large Italian eggplant and definitely do not skip the salting process!
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Tender Japanese eggplant, bell peppers, sweet onion and herbs slowly caramelized with tofu then simmered in a hoisin-chile sauce. A perfect meal to serve over rice or quinoa or eat in a big bowl alone.

Hoisin Eggplant with Tofu
serves 4
2 japanese eggplants, unpeeled, large dice
sea salt
1lb extra firm tofu, drained and pressed, medium dice
4 tbl melted coconut or canola oil, divided
1 yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 green bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 large sweet onion, halved, thinly sliced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup tamari
1/3 cup hoisin sauce
1/4 cup water
2 tsp cornstarch
2 tsp sriracha or your favorite chili sauce
3 tbl cilantro, roughly chopped
12 mint leaves, roughly chopped
2 cups cooked jasmine rice

Once the eggplant is chopped, sprinkle it with 1 tsp of salt and set aside on paper towels for 10-15 minutes while you cut the remaining vegetables.
In a large non-stick saute pan, add 3 tbl of oil. Pat the eggplant dry and add the eggplant and tofu to the pan. Cook over medium-high heat for 15 minutes, stirring often.
Add all of the bell peppers, onion, garlic, 1/4 tsp salt and the remaining 1 tbl of oil and saute 10 minutes more until the peppers have softened.
In a small bowl combine the tamari, hoisin, water, cornstarch and sriracha. Whisk until the cornstarch has dissolved. Add to the vegetables and simmer for 15 minutes.
Add the cilantro and mint and serve over rice.

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