Monday, March 15, 2010

Eggplant and Tofu Braised in Fragrant Sauce

One of my 'ambitious' goals this year is to eat less meat. This is a hard one for me because 1) I love love love meat and 2) I'm somewhat clueless when cooking vegetables. I usually put at least a little bit of meat in my vegetable dishes but tonight I decided to go all vegetarian by adding tofu to substitute for the meat. This dish was inspired by one of the recipes in Periplus' Homestyle Chinese Cooking cookbook and has a similar taste as the Spicy Eggplant Balado that I made a few months ago.

5 medium Chinese eggplants
1 package of cooked fried (yellow) tofu
3 tablespoons oil
8 cloves garlic, finely chopped
8 slices ginger, finely chopped
2 leeks, well washed and chopped
1 stalk lemon grass (white part only), sliced in half and bruised
4 green onions, finely chopped
1.5 tablespoons chili paste (I used Sambal Oelek)
3/8 cup water
1/2 cup fried shallots (optional)

3 tablespoons soy sauce
1.5 tablespoons Shaoxing cooking wine
1.5 tablespoons sugar
1.5 teaspoons vinegar
1.5 teaspoons sesame oil
1 teaspoon mirin
3/4 teaspoon salt

  • Cut eggplants length wise and then cut each half into 2-inch pieces.
  • Combine all the sauce ingredients together in a small bowl and set aside.
  • Stir fry garlic, ginger, leek, lemon grass and eggplants over medium heat in a heavy bottom pan or a wok for 4 minutes until the eggplants absorb the oil and begin to soften.
  • Add in tofu, green onion and the chili paste and cook for another 2 minutes.
  • Add the sauce and mix carefully to combine all the ingredients.
  • Add the water and cover the pan with a lid, lower the heat and simmer for 6 minutes.
  • Sprinkle with fried shallots on top, stir one more time and serve.


  1. I made this dish last night and it was absolutely delicious and also wonderful cold for lunch today. The recipe didn't say when you added the tofu. Thanks for sharing your recipe.

  2. Whoops. I've corrected the recipe... Add in the tofu when you add the green onions and the chili sauce. Thanks for catching that.