Off to a wine seminar with a friend tonight. There is a special tasting for Piedmonte wines of Italy. The advertisement for the event did not specify if there would be food and we knew we would be tasting at least 6 wines so I played it safe and ate. That said, when we got there, there were great cheeses and cold cuts. Actually, we're pretty sure that my friend K got sick off of the Salami because that was the only thing I did not eat. Yikes. Poor thing. The wines were lovely though.
Black Bean Ginger Eggplant (Aubergine) and Tofu Stirfry
1/4 c Onion, chopped
1 large Japanese Eggplant, 1 inch slices, halved
200 g Extra Firm Tofu
3 cloves Garlic
1 inch fresh Ginger, match sticks
2 Scallions, chopped, Greens and Whites separated
2 T Black Bean Sauce
1/2 T Chinese Chili Garlic Sauce
1/4 - 1/2 c Water
I par roasted the Eggplant and Tofu in the oven so I would not have chewy bitter Eggplant. You do not have to do this. I was also in a bit of a rush so there would not be alot of simmering time.
Toss the Eggplant and Tofu in some Peanut Oil. Spread in 1 layer in a non-stick or lined baking sheet. Bring the oven to 450F. I like to Rapid Preheat, if you oven has Convection... i.e. Fan. It adds the convect effect along as well as quicker heat up. Convect cooking is faster which is why most pro kitchens use them and why you typically will not wait in a restaurant for 2 hours for dinner. When the oven hits temperature. I turn the oven off. DO NOT open the door. Just let them sit in there until you are ready to use it.
While the Eggplant and Tofu is in the oven and the oven is coming up, I do everything else. It is highly recommended to have all your vegetables chopped before you WOK. Chop before you Wok! As well, have your sauces to hand with spoons ready. If you plan to do your classic Chinese, sauce slurry of potato starch and water to thicken, do that before you start unless you are super adept at multi-tasking and wokking. I am not using a slurry. I do not need it super thickened nor do I like when it gets too gummy. Just control your moisture. I like it when the sauce oozes into the rice. Prefer it.
Heat the wok on high. Heat 1 T of Peanut Oil High. Add the Onion and toss by scooping and turning, scooping and turning. 1-2 minutes.
Add the Ginger and Garlic. You may want to turn the heat down to Medium High. 1 minute. Do not burn the Garlic. Add the Eggplant and Tofu from the oven. Add the Scallion Whites. Toss, scoop and toss. If it gets dry or sticky, add a couple T of Water instead of Oil.
Turn the heat to Medium. Add the Sauces right into the Wok on top. Toss a couple of times and spread through. Then add the water. Add more if you like it looser. Do not use more Black Bean sauce than I've indicated. You may even want to use less. It goes a long way!
Let it simmer for a few minutes. Serve on Warm rice or Quinoa. Garnish with Scallion Greens.