So eggplant is up there with Brussel sprouts, cilantro and olives with foods people love or hate. Personally I think the eggplant gets a bad rap because people don't cook or flavour it properly. It needs a fair bit of oil and cooking time. This is not something you want to eat rare…it's texture is reminiscent of a chewy tire. Because I like a challenge I decided to combine it with tofu as that is another food that people turn their nose up at.
I dare you not to like this dish.
2 Japanese eggplants, cut into 1/2 inch cubes (I prefer these to the regular ones but if you cannot find them use the regular)
4-6 tablespoons sesame oil
1/4 teaspoon chili oil
3 tablespoons soy sauce or tamari
1/2 cup chopped cilantro, 4 tablespoons reserved for garnish
3 cloves of garlic, minced
3 green onions (green and white parts), 1 reserved for garnish
2 tablespoons of grated ginger
1 cup of diced tofu
1/2 cup toasted peanuts
1 avocado, diced into 1/2 inch cubes
Serves 4 as an accompaniment
In a large saucepan over low-medium heat, heat 2 tablespoons of sesame oil. Add minced garlic and green onions and saute a minute or two. Do not burn or toast. Add chili oil. Add eggplant and another tablespoon of sesame oil, and 2 tablespoons of soy sauce. Cook for approx. 10-15 minutes, adding sesame oil when needed.
Once the eggplant begins to soften add ginger, more sesame oil, remaining soy sauce and tofu. Continue to cook another 10-15 minutes until eggplant is totally soft, almost near mushy-ness. Okay bad word but you get what I mean). Remove from heat and add remaining green onion and cilantro. Serve on a bed of your favorite rice, pad thai noodles or inside a lettuce cup. Top each portion with a couple of tablespoons of peanuts and avocado.