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Servings: 8 eggplants
Tofu and eggplants:
- 9 ounces extra-firm tofu
- 2 pounds Chinese eggplants (8 eggplants)
- 1 cup vegetable stock
- 1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
- 1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon sriracha or other chili sauce
- 1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine or dry sherry
- 2 tablespoon soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons neutral oil
- 1 small white onion, finely diced
- 1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon ground Szechuan pepper (optional)
- 1/2 small carrot, peeled and finely diced
- 1 small red bell pepper, seeded and finely diced
- 3 ounces fresh shiitake or other mushrooms, finely diced
- 2 scallions, sliced, plus more for garnish
- Sliced chiles, for garnish (optional)
- Prepare the tofu and eggplants: Press the tofu for at least 10 minutes to drain any excess liquid. Place the tofu in a bowl. Crumble the tofu with your hands or a fork then set aside.
- While the tofu is being pressed, puncture each eggplant four or five times around its body, using a fork. Place the eggplants in a microwave-safe dish and cover with a microwave-safe lid. Microwave for 2 minutes on high, or until the eggplants are wrinkly on the outside and tender to the touch. Flip the eggplants over and microwave, covered, for another 2 minutes on high. Let cool for 5 minutes. Alternatively, you can boil your eggplants in a pot of water until tender, about 6 minutes.
- Prepare the sauce: In a medium-sized bowl, mix together all the sauce ingredients and adjust to your taste, then set side.
- Prepare the filling: Heat a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Add the oil. Sauté the onion, ginger and Szechuan pepper (if using) until aromatic, about 2 minutes. Add the crumbled tofu, carrot, bell pepper, mushrooms and scallions. Sauté until the bell pepper and mushrooms are cooked through and the tofu is slightly golden brown, about 4 minutes. Continue to cook, turning to lightly crisp it, for another 2 minutes. The tofu will start to resemble minced meat as the water from the tofu evaporates.
- Give the sauce a good mix again. Lower the heat to medium and pour the sauce into the pan. Stir well until the sauce thickens, 2 minutes. Taste the tofu and adjust the seasoning as needed. Turn off the heat and set the pan aside.
- Slice through the middle of each eggplant lengthwise and carefully open them. Scoop a generous amount of the filling into each eggplant. Garnish with chopped scallion and sliced chile, if desired. Enjoy with rice or as is.
Excerpted from Vegan Asian: A Cookbook © 2021 by Jeeca Uy. Published by Page Street Publishing.
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