Chinese Eggplant, Tofu, and Rice in a Spicy Sweet Garlic Sauce

Got a craving for chinese but don’t want the calories or MSG? Here’s a quick and easy recipe that will satisfy your craving and leave your waist line alone.

What you’ll need:
3 medium Chinese eggplants cut into long strips
6 tbsp soy sauce
6 tbsp balsamic vinegar
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 tbsp powdered ginger
1 small sweet onion diced
1 tsp sugar
1/2 cup honey (we used organic pure honey)
1 tbsp red chili flakes
2 cups white or brown rice (we used instant white)
1 lb firm tofu cut into cubes
Cornstarch (enough to coat tofu)
Vegetable oil

Recipe (serves 4):
First, we started with the eggplant, since it is the most time consuming out of the three parts of the meal. Take your wok and set the heat to medium, once hot, coat with vegetable oil, splashing the sides and lay eggplant strips flat in a single layer–it took us 6 times repeating this until all the eggplant was cooked–cook for a minute on the first side. Flip and cook on the other for a couple of minutes and flip until both sides are brown and the eggplant flesh is rather translucent. It should be a relatively quick process. Once cooked, take eggplant out of wok and set in a medium bowl. Repeat with the strips of eggplant until all is cooked. Add eggplant back into wok on one side. Add a tablespoon of vegetable oil to the wok and add in the garlic and onion. Saute for a minute or so and then mix eggplant together with onion and garlic. Take off stovetop and set aside. In a separate bowl, mix 3 tbsp soy sauce, 3 tbsp balsamic vinegar, 2 tbsp ginger, 1 tbsp red chili flakes, and 1 tsp sugar. Pour over hot eggplant and mix together thoroughly. Transfer back into medium bowl, rinse out wok.

Image

Next, we cooked the tofu. We took the block of tofu cut into cubes and placed it in a large ziplock bag. Then, we added cornstarch and shook the bag to coat the tofu. We turned the heat on under the wok, and added vegetable oil coating the sides once hot. We then added the tofu on medium heat and let it sit for a while — you’ll know it’s time to flip the tofu when once side starts to become golden brown and has a crust forming. In total, we cooked the tofu, flipping it halfway in between for about 10-15 minutes. While the tofu is cooking, you can mix the sauce. Combine the 1/2 cup honey, 1 tbsp ginger, 3 tbsp soy sauce, 3 tbsp balsamic vinegar, mix together. Once tofu is golden brown, remove and place into a medium bowl. Pour sauce over tofu, mix to coat.

ImageThe instant rice is the easiest part, just cook according to directions on the back and however many people you are planning to serve. It should take around 5 minutes.

Place rice in bowl, top with eggplant, and tofu, and add some sauce from both dishes.

 

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