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Chinese Eggplant Tofu Recipe: A Delicious Vegan Dish

If you're looking for a vegetarian or vegan dish that's healthy and full of flavour, then a Chinese eggplant tofu recipe might be just what you need. This dish is a perfect balance of nutrients, combining eggplant and tofu, both of which are black canvases that absorb any flavour beautifully. Chinese eggplant tofu is vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free and super healthy.

Eggplant and tofu sizzle in a hot wok with garlic, ginger, and soy sauce. The dish is garnished with green onions and sesame seeds

To make this dish, you'll need some essential ingredients, such as eggplant, tofu, garlic, ginger, green onions, soy sauce, and sesame oil. You'll also need to follow some preparation steps, such as cutting the eggplant, pressing the tofu, and making the sauce. Once you have all the ingredients ready, you can start cooking the dish using a stir-fry technique that ensures that the eggplant and tofu are cooked to perfection.

Chinese eggplant tofu recipe is a great option for a healthy and delicious dinner that's easy to prepare. This dish is not only vegetarian and vegan but also packed with nutrients and flavour. You can even propose the use of seafood in the recipe as a suggestion where applicable, such as shrimp or scallops, to add some extra protein and flavour.

Key Takeaways

  • Chinese eggplant tofu recipe is a healthy and delicious vegetarian or vegan dish that's easy to prepare.
  • The dish combines essential ingredients such as eggplant, tofu, garlic, ginger, green onions, soy sauce, and sesame oil.
  • You can propose the use of seafood in the recipe, such as shrimp or scallops, to add some extra protein and flavour.

Essential Ingredients

Sliced Chinese eggplant and tofu sizzling in a wok with garlic, ginger, and soy sauce. Green onions and sesame seeds sprinkled on top

To prepare a delicious Chinese eggplant tofu recipe, you will need the following essential ingredients:

Eggplant Selection

Chinese long eggplants are preferred for this recipe because they are less bitter. However, if you cannot find them, any variety with fewer seeds will work. When selecting eggplants, look for ones that are firm, shiny, and free from bruises or blemishes.

Choosing the Right Tofu

Extra firm tofu is recommended for this recipe because it holds its shape better and has a meatier texture. However, you can also use firm tofu if that is what you have on hand. If you are looking to add seafood to the recipe, you can use prawns or scallops.

Sauce Components

The sauce for this recipe is made up of soy sauce, brown sugar, rice vinegar, ginger, cornstarch, and sesame oil. Soy sauce adds saltiness to the dish, while the brown sugar provides sweetness. Rice vinegar adds acidity, and ginger adds a spicy kick. Cornstarch is added to thicken the sauce, and sesame oil adds a nutty flavor. If you are looking to add some seafood to the dish, you can use fish sauce as a replacement for soy sauce.

When preparing this recipe, it is important to note that the eggplant needs to be salted and rinsed before cooking. This helps to remove any bitterness and excess moisture. Additionally, the tofu needs to be pressed to remove any excess water before cooking.

This Chinese eggplant tofu recipe is a healthy and delicious dish that is packed with protein, fiber, and carbohydrates. It is low in saturated fat and high in unsaturated fat, making it a great choice for those looking to eat healthily.

Preparation Steps

Eggplant and tofu arranged on a cutting board with a knife, garlic cloves, and soy sauce nearby

Prepping the Eggplant

To prepare the eggplant, start by washing it thoroughly and cutting off both ends. Then, cut the eggplant into bite-sized pieces, about 1 inch in length. Sprinkle some salt over the eggplant and let it sit for 10-15 minutes. This will help to remove the excess moisture from the eggplant and make it tender.

Pressing and Cutting Tofu

While the eggplant is sitting, take the extra firm tofu and press it gently to remove any excess water. Cut the tofu into small cubes, about the same size as the eggplant. Coat the tofu cubes with some cornstarch to give them a crispy texture when cooking.

Making the Sauce

To make the sauce, mix together some minced garlic, chopped green onions, and diced red bell pepper in a small bowl. In a separate bowl, mix together some soy sauce, water, and cornstarch to create a thick sauce.

Cooking the Eggplant and Tofu

In a large pan, heat up some oil over medium-high heat. Add the eggplant to the pan and cook for 3-4 minutes until tender. Remove the eggplant from the pan and set it aside.

Next, add the coated tofu to the same pan and cook for 2-3 minutes until crispy. Once the tofu is crispy, add the garlic, green onions, and red bell pepper to the pan. Cook for another minute until fragrant.

Finally, add the eggplant back to the pan and pour the sauce over everything. Cook for another 2-3 minutes until the sauce has thickened and everything is heated through.

This recipe serves 4 and takes approximately 20 minutes to prepare and 15 minutes to cook, making for a total time of 35 minutes. If you want to add seafood to the recipe, you could use shrimp or scallops. Simply sauté the seafood in the pan before adding the eggplant and tofu. Enjoy!

Cooking Technique

Eggplant and tofu sizzling in a wok with garlic, ginger, and soy sauce. Steam rising, creating a savory aroma

When it comes to cooking Chinese eggplant tofu, there are a few key techniques to master in order to achieve the perfect texture and flavour. In this section, we'll cover some of the most important cooking techniques to keep in mind.

Stir-Frying in a Wok

Stir-frying is a classic Chinese cooking technique that involves quickly cooking ingredients in a hot wok with a small amount of oil. To stir-fry your eggplant and tofu, start by heating up your wok over high heat until it's smoking hot. Add a small amount of oil to the wok, and then add your tofu cubes. Cook the tofu until it's golden brown on all sides, then remove it from the wok and set it aside.

Next, add a bit more oil to the wok and add your eggplant. Cook the eggplant until it's fork-tender and has absorbed some of the oil, then add your sauce and aromatics. Stir everything together and let it simmer until the sauce has thickened and the flavours have melded together.

Achieving the Perfect Texture

One of the keys to a great Chinese eggplant tofu dish is achieving the perfect texture. You want your eggplant to be soft and tender, but not mushy, and your tofu to be crispy on the outside and tender on the inside.

To achieve this texture, it's important to cut your eggplant and tofu into evenly sized pieces. This will help them cook at the same rate and prevent any pieces from becoming overcooked or undercooked.

Additionally, be sure to cook the tofu until it's golden brown on all sides before adding it back to the wok. This will give it a crispy exterior and a tender interior, which will provide a nice contrast to the soft eggplant.

Finally, be sure to use the right sauce to complement your dish. A spicy, sweet, and savoury sauce will work well with the eggplant and tofu, and you can experiment with different combinations of spices and aromatics to find the perfect flavour profile for your dish.

If you're looking to add some seafood to your dish, consider adding some shrimp or scallops to the wok along with your eggplant and tofu. Seafood pairs well with the spicy and savoury flavours of the dish, and can add a nice textural contrast as well.

Serving and Garnishing

Chinese eggplant and tofu arranged on a white plate, drizzled with soy sauce and garnished with sliced green onions and red chili peppers

Plating the Dish

Once your Chinese eggplant tofu dish is cooked, it is time to plate it up. You can serve it with a side of white rice or fried rice. Place a serving of rice on a plate and then spoon the eggplant and tofu on top of the rice. You can also serve it with noodles if you prefer.

To add some colour to your dish, you can sprinkle some sliced spring onions or green onions on top of the eggplant and tofu. This will also add a fresh and slightly tangy flavour to the dish. You can also add a sprinkle of sesame seeds for a nutty flavour and texture.

Optional Garnishes

If you want to add some heat to your dish, you can sprinkle some red pepper flakes on top of the eggplant and tofu. Another option is to add a dollop of sambal oelek, a spicy Indonesian chilli paste, on the side of the dish. This will give your dish a spicy kick and add some complexity to the flavour.

If you are a seafood lover, you can add some seafood to this dish. Shrimp or prawns are a great addition to this recipe. You can sauté them with the eggplant and tofu or add them on top of the dish as a garnish. Another option is to add some scallops to the dish. They will add a sweet and delicate flavour to the dish.

Plating and garnishing your Chinese eggplant tofu dish is easy and fun. You can get creative and add your own personal touch to the dish by using different garnishes and seafood options. Enjoy your delicious and flavourful meal!

Nutrition and Dietary Information

A colorful array of fresh Chinese eggplants, tofu, garlic, ginger, and various seasonings arranged on a clean, wooden cutting board

Caloric Content

Chinese Eggplant Tofu is a healthy and nutritious dish that can be enjoyed by everyone. The caloric content of this dish varies depending on the ingredients used and the serving size. On average, a serving of Chinese Eggplant Tofu contains around 215 calories.

Macronutrient Breakdown

Chinese Eggplant Tofu is a great source of protein and fiber, making it a perfect meal for vegetarians and vegans. A serving of this dish contains around 11.5g of protein and 5.3g of fiber. It is also low in fat, with only 13g per serving.

The dish is also gluten-free, making it an excellent option for people with gluten intolerance or celiac disease. It is also suitable for vegetarians and vegans.

When it comes to sodium content, Chinese Eggplant Tofu can be high in sodium due to the use of soy sauce in the recipe. To reduce the sodium content, consider using low-sodium soy sauce or reducing the amount of soy sauce used in the recipe.

If you want to add some seafood to the dish, you can add some shrimp or scallops. These seafood options will add some extra protein and a delicious seafood flavor to the dish.

Overall, Chinese Eggplant Tofu is a healthy and delicious dish that can be enjoyed by everyone. With its high protein and fiber content, it is a great meal option for vegetarians and vegans.

Frequently Asked Questions

A wok sizzles with diced eggplant and tofu, surrounded by bowls of soy sauce, garlic, and ginger. A recipe book lies open, with the title "Frequently Asked Questions Chinese Eggplant Tofu Recipe" prominently displayed

What's a simple way to make eggplant and tofu stir-fry?

A simple way to make eggplant and tofu stir-fry is to first dice the eggplant and tofu into small cubes. Then, heat up some oil in a wok or frying pan and add the eggplant and tofu. Stir-fry for a few minutes until the eggplant is soft and the tofu is lightly browned. Add some soy sauce, oyster sauce, and a pinch of sugar for flavour. You can also add some seafood like prawns or scallops to the stir-fry for a delicious seafood twist.

Can you suggest a good oyster sauce to use in an eggplant tofu dish?

A good oyster sauce to use in an eggplant tofu dish is Lee Kum Kee Premium Oyster Sauce. It has a rich flavour and is made with high-quality oysters. You can find it in most Asian grocery stores or online. Alternatively, you can use any other oyster sauce that you prefer.

How can I make a healthier version of a Chinese eggplant and tofu recipe?

To make a healthier version of a Chinese eggplant and tofu recipe, you can use less oil for cooking and opt for a healthier oil like olive oil or avocado oil. You can also use less salt and sugar, and add more vegetables like bell peppers, mushrooms, and broccoli to the dish. Additionally, you can use firm tofu instead of silken tofu for a firmer texture and more protein.

What are some tips for serving eggplant and tofu with rice?

Some tips for serving eggplant and tofu with rice are to first cook the rice separately and then serve the eggplant and tofu on top of the rice. You can also garnish the dish with some chopped green onions or cilantro for added flavour and colour. Additionally, you can serve the dish with some steamed or stir-fried vegetables on the side for a complete meal.

Which recipe is considered the best for a Chinese-style eggplant and tofu dish?

There are many recipes for a Chinese-style eggplant and tofu dish, but one of the most popular is Szechuan Eggplant with Tofu. This dish is pan-fried and coated in a garlicky sweet-spicy sauce, and served with crispy tofu over a bed of rice. It's a flavourful and satisfying dish that's easy to make at home.

Is there a notable difference between Chinese and Vietnamese eggplant tofu recipes?

Yes, there is a notable difference between Chinese and Vietnamese eggplant tofu recipes. Chinese eggplant tofu dishes often use a sweet and savoury sauce made with soy sauce, oyster sauce, and sugar, while Vietnamese eggplant tofu dishes often use a spicy and tangy sauce made with fish sauce, lime juice, and chilli. Additionally, Vietnamese eggplant tofu dishes often include lemongrass and fresh herbs like mint and cilantro for added flavour. If you're a seafood lover, you can add some shrimp or fish to Vietnamese eggplant tofu dishes for a delicious seafood twist.