Hot and Sour Eggplant

August 14, 2011

Hot and Sour Eggplant

Jesi, Tucson CSA

This is a great recipe that uses fresh eggplant and seasonal peppers. There are so many ways this recipe can be varied by adding whatever fresh vegetables you have on hand. It’s hard to mess this one up! This dish is quite spicy, so reduce the amount of hot peppers if you prefer yours mild.

Vegetables:
4 small Japanese eggplants, cubed
2 small yellow peppers, diced
1/2 jalapeno pepper, chopped finely
2/3 block tofu, drained and cubed (optional)

Sauce:
5 tablespoons tamari
3 tablespoon red wine vinegar
2 1/2 tablespoon honey
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 teaspoon chili oil, or to taste (or 1 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil plus 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes )

For frying:
about 4 tablespoons sesame oil

Directions:

1. Place the eggplant cubes into a large bowl, and sprinkle with salt. Let stand for 15-30 minutes. Rinse and pat dry with paper towels.

2. In a small bowl, stir together the sauce ingredients. Set aside.

3. In a large wok or skillet, sautee the tofu over medium-high heat in some of the sesame oil until it begins to turn golden brown. Remove and set aside.

4. Add the remaining sesame oil to the skillet or wok and fry the eggplant until it is tender and begins to brown, 5 to 10 minutes. Pour in the sauce, hot peppers, and tofu, stirring until the eggplant is evenly coated. Cook about 5 more minutes, stirring often, until the peppers have cooked and the sauce has reduced a bit.

Serve with jasmine rice.

Delicious modifications:
Zucchini, mushrooms, bell peppers, or tomatoes make delicious additions to this simple recipe. Different varieties of seasonal peppers can be used interchangeably for varying flavors and degrees of heat.

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