As I’ve shared before, my kitchen in Korea is limited. While thinking of what to make for dinner the other night, I was reminded of a time a couple years ago when I helped one of my Hawaiian friends with a film shoot. To thank me and the rest of her cast, she had us over for dinner. That night, I was introduced to sesame seed oil and how wonderful it was on eggplant and rice.
So, I decided to try and find a recipe for the eggplant dish she made. I found this one, “Sunday Supper: Braised Tofu with Eggplant and Shitakes.”
The first time I ever tried tofu, I was in Kindergarten, living in California. At a cookout at my vegetarian, model best-friend’s house, I was prompted to try some sort of tofu faux-meat that didn’t sit well with my stomach. I never really tried tofu again until college, where I learned that it wasn’t an invented meat replacement for people who wanted to stay in shape, but rather had been a staple in Asian diets for centuries.
Anyway, this recipe was really easy to make and legitimately tasty — as in I’d make it even at home where I have more than two-burners to cook with, so I wanted to share it:
Braised Eggplant with Tofu:
– 4 teaspoons oil (I used soybean.)
– 1 cup sliced shiitake mushrooms (I used the button kind.)
– 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
– 3 long, purple eggplants
– 1 tablespoon chili paste
– 1/2 cup water
– 2 tablespoons soy sauce (The recipe’s gluten-free if you use gluten-free soy sauce.)
– 1/2 pound tofu, blotted dry
– 1 tablespoon dark sesame seed oil for garnish
* If you want to serve this on rice, go ahead and get that cooking so it’ll be done by the time you’re finished with the eggplant.
1. Cook mushrooms 5-10 minutes in 1 teaspoon of oil. Once browned, set aside.
3. Dice the eggplant. Cook in 2 teaspoons of oil for 5-10 minutes.
4. Add chili paste and water to pan. Stir and cook 10-15 minutes until eggplant is tender.
5. Add soy sauce, diced tofu, sesame seed oil, and mushrooms. Stir and enjoy!