I really love all types of Asian food, but it’s often so full of gratuitous grease and many times the sauces are based on animal broths. It seems like when restaurants take out the meat products, the replace them with an abundance of salt, and that is just not very tasty, let alone not very healthy.
This meal came together really fast and I am going to share the method with you. I didn’t write down amounts, but really, amounts are based on personal taste, so use what you like and don’t be afraid to experiment. Just keep in mind that any strong flavors and salts will intensify as you reduce the liquid, so less is more; you can always tweak it to your liking before serving!
I froze a 14 oz. block of extra firm tofu, then defrosted it and squeezed all of the water out. This is a great way to skip the HOURS of marinating required to impart satisfying flavor into your tofu.
Once the tofu is squeezed of all water (it will literally be like a sponge) crumble it with your hands and set aside.
For this dish I used:
- Cooking spray
- Fresh Ginger
- Chili- Garlic Paste (I made my own, but you can use store bought)
- Hoisin Sauce
- Soy Sauce
- Fresh Lime Juice
- Fresh Thai Basil
- White Pepper
- 5 Spice Powder
- Water as needed
- Pinch of Hickory Smoke Powder
- Toasted Sesame Oil
I used a screaming hot cast iron sprayed with cooking spray, then added the onion, garlic and ginger along with a small pinch of salt, then added the eggplant, 5 spice and stir fried for several minutes, then I deglazed with some mirin and added the chili garlic sauce, 5 spice and water. I turned the heat down to medium, covered and cooked until the eggplant was nice a tender. Finally, I added the rest of the ingredients, tasted and adjusted my seasoning .
The beauty of dishes like this is that they are almost always better the next day!