Basil Eggplant Tofu Stir Fry – Take II

i’ve forgotten how complicated making chinese food is.

due to the limitations of Juanfi’s kitchen, i traded my usual stir fry dinners this summer for western fare. less grease and smoke produced, and much less counter/prep space needed.

just to ease my way back in to chinese cooking, i re-attempted one of my previous creations:

INGREDIENTS:

  1. 1 large eggplant
  2. 1 pack firm tofu
  3. 1/2 large bell pepper (1/4 red + 1/4 yellow = pretty dish)
  4. 3 tbs minced garlic
  5. hoisen sauce
  6. soy sauce
  7. 1 tbs garlic chili sauce
  8. sesame oil
  9. regular cooking oil (lower smoking point. use this for frying.)
  10. large batch of basil leaves
  11. chicken stock

PREP:

  1. drain and halve tofu block to 2 flat rectangles. press between paper towels, 2 on top and 2 on bottom. drained tofu soaks up marinade like a SPONGE, so says alton brown. (this really worked!)
  2. marinade in soy sauce, garlic, whatever pleases you. set aside.
  3. chop eggplant into same size squares as tofu.
  4. mince garlic.
  5. de-stem basil

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. heat wok/large non-stick pan ’til smokin’ hot. add lots of vegetable oil. fry tofu until browned.
  2. remove tofu and set on paper towel lined rack to drain. drain pan of most of the oil, leaving only enough oil to stir fry the rest of the ingredients.
  3. heat pan again. add minced garlic and stir fry until fragrant.
  4. dump in eggplant, stir a few times, pour in half a cup or so of chicken stock (just enough to cover bottom of the pan) and cover for a few minutes until eggplant is soft.
  5. remove cover and add bell peppers (i dont like my bell peppers soggy so i add them at the end)
  6. squeeze in hoisen sauce (in circular motion around pan, 3x), and 1 tbs chili sauce. 1 tbs sesame oil, stir to distribute.
  7. add basil, stir fry until liquid is absorbed and basil looks cooked. (add more chicken stock if too dry and basil not cooking)
  8. serve.
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