Thursday, September 02, 2010

Monday, August 30th - Black Bean Eggplant and Mushroom Stir Fry

Black Bean Eggplant and Mushroom Stir Fry with Tofu
The thing about Asian stir frys is confidence in experimenting.  Have the basics in your cupboard: Soy Sauce, Fish Sauce, Black Bean, Oyster, Chili Garlic, Sesame Oil and Hoisin.  I do not use Hoisin in Stir Fry.  D does.  For me, it's more like a ketchup.  As well, we have a nice Soy Chili Garlic Sauce that is a fermented Soy Bean based sauce.  It is not at all like Soy Sauce.  Use a basic recipe like the below a few times then play with the proportions of the various sauces as you like most. 

Black Bean Eggplant and Mushroom Stir Fry

1/2 c Red Onion, chopped
1 1/2 c Mushrooms, (I used Crimini and Portabella because that was in my fridge)
1 small Eggplant, cut into fingers
1 inch Ginger, sliced
3 cloves Garlic, minced
1 brick Extra Firm Organic Tofu, cubed
2 T Peanut Oil

2 T Black Bean Sauce
1/2 T Chili Garlic Sauce
3/4 T Oyster Sauce
1/2 T Soy Chili Sauce (optional)

3/4 c Water
1 t Corn Starch
3/4 c Water

Start Brown Rice now (1 1/2 c Raw Brown Rice for 3 servings)

Whisk the 3/4 c Water and Corn Starch in a small bowl and set aside.

Chop all the vegetables and have handy.

I like my Eggplant soft.  It is hard to get it they way they do in Chinese restaurants because 1. you cannot have the same heat they do unless you wok on the BBQ.  2. you probably will not use as much oil.  So all you have is time.  Alot of the time, I will par cook in the oven by roasting but while I do other stuff.  It requires less oil but it is also drier. Well, I wokked all the way this time. 

Heat 1 T Peanut Oil in a Wok on the strongest burner you have on the highest heat you can get.  Place the Eggplant on one of your dinner plates so you can toss it all in at once.  I have small hands and find that I lose time, lubrication and heat to the first handful when I go in batches.  Toss actively at first to ensure they are all covered in Oil.  Then start letting it sit for 10 s then toss.  Let sit 10 s then toss.  Our burners are Halogen so they're flat so only the very bottom of my wok is actually in contact with the burner.  As well, it does not actually touch the whole burner.  So I am aware of ensure all the Eggplant spends time in the bottom and I keep the walk shimmying around the burner so the hottest parts of the burner get contacted.  To get the softness I wanted, it took 10 minutes.  Set aside on a plate.

Add another Tablespoon of Peanut Oil to the Wok.  Fry the Onions and Ginger slices for 1-2 minutes.  add the Mushrooms.  Toss actively for 2 minutes.  Add the Tofu and toss for 1-2 minutes. Return the Eggplant to the wok. Add the sauce mixture and spread throughout.  It will burn quickly so douse the wok with the Cornstarch slurry and toss.  Bring to a boil, that is when the Starch is activated to thicken.  Add more water as needed if your stove stays hot long.  Ours does and I needed to wait a bit for D to sit down.  I used 3/4 c extra Water.  You may want to use at least 1/2 c.

Serve hot over Rice right away.  MMMMMM  D liked the heat.  I held back on the Chili Sauce.  I wanted to use a whole T.  The things you do for love. :^P


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