Asian Eggplant with Crispy Tofu

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INGREDIENTS:

  •  2 large eggplants 

  • 1 block tofu (approx. 200g), drained and pressed and then crumbled 

  • 3 shallots, white and green parts separated (white parts then finely chopped and he green parts sliced for topping) 

  • 4 garlic cloves, minced

  • 1 tbsp minced ginger

  • 1/2 tsp chilli flakes 

Sauce:

  • 3 tbsp soy sauce 

  • 1 tsp maple syrup (or cane sugar) 

  • juice from 1 lime 

  • 1 tsp corn starch 

  • 3/4 (180ml) cup water  

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Cut the eggplant in medium to large sized wedges, and shallow fry them in a pan on medium-high heat for 2 minutes on each side. I did mine in batches and added oil in between each batch. NOTE: even though I say shallow fry I only use about 1 tbsp of oil per batch. Once the eggplant is all done remove from the pan and set aside.  
     

  2. After this, add a little more oil to the pan and add the crumbled tofu. Pan-fry until the tofu is golden brown (around 8 minutes), then push to one side of the pan. 
     

  3. To the free side of the pan you may need to add a little more oil (but try not to use too much oil) and then add the white parts of the shallots which have been finely chopped, the chilli flakes and the minced garlic and ginger. Sauté for about 1 minute or until aromatic. 
     

  4. Now add your partially cooked eggplant back into the pan with the tofu and aromats and give it all a big toss to combine.
     

  5. In a small bowl combine your soy sauce, maple syrup and lime juice and then add it to the pan and give it another toss.
     

  6.  In the same small bowl add your cornstarch and water and mix together. Gradually add the water/starch mixture into the stir fry and mix it all together. Let the mixture simmer until the sauce has thickened and the eggplant is fork-tender. Season with more soy sauce or some sea salt if necessary.
     

  7. Transfer to a serving bowl and top with the green parts of the shallots and serve with some rice! You can also add some sweet chilli, a pinch of lime juice or more soy sauce whilst eating if it feels necessary!