Cousin’s Spicy Eggplant Tofu [Vegetarian/Vegan]

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My cousin in Trinidad specifically requested a vegetarian post, using eggplant.  This was quite difficult for me, as I generally dislike all forms of eggplant.  Don’t like moussaka; don’t like bhurtha; don’t like baba ganoush … suffice it to say I find this vegetable repulsive.  There is however, one single eggplant dish that I do order everytime I go to my local Chinese restaurant — Szechuan style chili eggplant with tofu and pork.  This dish is easily made vegetarian (and vegan) by removing the pork!

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Ingredients:

  • Soy Sauce
  • Sesame Oil
  • 2 tubes of Tofu (I prefer egg tofu, however firm tofu, as well as deep fried tofu work extremely well)
  • 2 large Eggplants
  • 1 head of Garlic
  • 1/2 an Onion (Optional)
  • 1 thumbnail of Ginger
  • Rice Vinegar
  • Hoisin Sauce
  • Chili Sauce
  • Brown Sugar
  • Corn Starch
  • Tomatoes (Optional)

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Directions:

Create a marinade for your tofu by combining some sesame oil with soy sauce.  Thin it down by adding a touch of water.  Measurements?  No clue.  I always eyeball it and mix it to taste.  Cut the tofu into slices, and place them in the mixture.  Swish it around every 5 mins or so.

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Set this aside to let it marinade while you prep the next parts.

Wash and peel the eggplant.  I generally wouldn’t peel off all of the skin, as it would disintegrate easily.  Keep some skin to hold the shape.

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Chop the eggplant into rectangles, roughly 3 cm square, and 8 cm long.  Heat a large pot with a cup of boiling water, and place the eggplant in it.

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Give the marinating tofu another swish.  Prep the garlic and ginger but mincing each.

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The eggplant will probably release a lot of water.  I drain it to cook it faster.  After removing all the excess water, add in a bit of oil to brown the eggplant, and add in the ginger and garlic.

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On another burner, get a non stick pan medium hot, and add some oil.  Place your now marinated tofu on the frying pan, and brown each side.

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Prep the eggplant sauce now in a small bowl.  Add in some soy sauce, rice vinegar, hoisin sauce, sesame oil, chili sauce, chili oil, and brown sugar.  Give it all a stir.  To thicken it up, add in some corn starch.

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Throw the sauce into the large pot with the eggplant.

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If you wanted to add tomatoes, now would be the time.

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After letting it boil down for a couple of mins, the last step is to add the tofuProtip: Don’t play around too much once you add the tofu, or it will all break.

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Finally, serve it!  This goes best with plain old regular rice.

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Ta da!  There you have it.  Cousin’s Spicy Eggplant Tofu.

This recipe is easily made vegan-friendly by using vegan-approved soy sauce, and soy tofu.

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