Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Feb 2nd - Tofu and Eggplant Stir Fry with Mabo Tofu sauce

How can we be out of rice? The only rice in the house is half a cup of brown rice or short grain white. I'm not even sure how the short grain white ended up in the house. We never eat that stuff. Not even my mom uses alot of short grain white. It's pretty high on the glycemic index, meaning, that you're more likely to have a carb crash and craving afterward. I think we're all familiar with the old old belief that you're hungry after an hour after eating Chinese food. I threw in a quarter cup of quinoa, a high protein grain that cooks in a very similar fashion to rice. My mom discovered quinoa recently too. Funny, she was never as into all this 'health' food when we were growning up. She started adding quinoa to her white rice if she's using plain.

Tonight is a simple tofu stir fry. I was only supposed to pick up some firm tofu and ginger on my way home but sitting next to the tofu in the korean HMart fridge was a Mabo Tofu sauce mix, extra spicy. It was pretty good. Something similar to a oyster sauce. It wasn't extra spicy. It wasn't even spicy really. I thought it would be the chili based (red) sauce. I think I'll forgo this next time and just use the hoisin and/or black bean sauce . Still it was a tasty, quick and very healthy meal.

Tofu and Eggplant Stir Fry with Mabo Tofu sauce

1 red bell pepper, chopped in 1 inch pieces
1/2 red onion, diced
1 japanese eggplant, 1 ft long
6-8 fresh shitake mushrooms, brushed and sliced
2 cloves garlic
1 inch fresh ginger, julienned
1 10-14 oz pack of firm tofu, 1 inch cubes
1 pack, Mapo Tofu sauce

I pre-roast my eggplant but you don't have too. I find it saves time in the long run. Eggplant does not cook the way it does in Chinese restaurants because you will never have as high heat as they do in the restaurant. Never, not even if you have gas stoves. In order to get the eggplant to cook through at home, you'll normally need to let it stew at the end longer. But then the brilliance of crisp veg from stir frying is lost. Under done eggplant can be tough and bitter. Turn the oven on to 450. Cut the eggplant into 2 cm thick coins. When the coins get too big, cut them in half. Toss in vegetable oil and lightly salt with course salt. Spread out on a piece of foil and place in the oven for 20-30 minutes. You're just trying to give them a head start.

Heat a wok on HIGH, add a few T of peanut oil. Peanut oil has no flavour and a high smoking point. Olive oil will not work as well. It will smoke at too low a heat and add an odd flavour to asian food. Add the garlic, ginger and onion. Keep it moving. Stir fries are called that for a reason. Add the eggplant, red pepper and mushrooms in that order. Add the sauce pack. I added some water to the foil sauce pack and added the water to the wok. Heat through for a couple of minutes.

Serve immediately over rice. Garnish with scallions. We used cilantro to garnish because we had it from some guacamole we made yesterday.

YUMMO. I love tofu. If you are not brave enough to mix your own asian sauce from playing with soy, hoisin or black bean then by all means use the Mapo sort of ready made sauces. Really, not worth the extra expense if you are prepared to stock the basics.

0 Leave a / Read COMMENTs: