Thursday, February 16, 2012

Easy Spicy Eggplant with Basil and Scallions

I made this three times in the past few weeks.  Spicy, sweet, caramelly, aromatic, chewy, crunchy... It's a perfect combination of textures and tastes.  And, if you make it with tofu, it's a complete meal.  When I did add tofu, I had a hard time getting both it and the eggplant to cook properly, so I think adding pre-fried tofu later on is probably a more reliable method.

Easy Spicy Eggplant with Basil and Scallions (and here, Tofu)

1-2 TB oil
1 large eggplant (or 2-3 small), in small cubes
1-2 hot chilies, seeded if desired and finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 1-inch cube ginger, peeled and finely chopped
8 oz pre-cooked tofu in cubes
splash tamari
splash seasoned rice vinegar (or mirin would be better)
water as needed
1-2 tsp sugar
1/4 c basil leaves, coarsely chopped
2 green onions, chopped
sesame seeds

1. Heat oil in a large wok or frying pan.  When it's very hot, add eggplant cubes and cook a few minutes, then add chilies, garlic, and ginger.  Continue cooking and stirring until the eggplant is slightly browned, and juicy throughout. 
2. Add to the pan the tamari, rice vinegar, sugar, and as much water as you need to steam everything without it sticking.  If using tofu, I'd add it now.  Reduce heat and cook a few more minutes.
3. Turn off heat and stir in basil and green onions.  Remove from heat and serve with rice or noodles, garnished with sesame seeds, sriracha, and more basil and green onions.  Serves about 4.

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