Sunday, March 25, 2012

Steamed eggplant with silken tofu and green onions.

Eggplant is somewhat of a conundrum when you can't cook with oil! After much trial and error, i found that steaming it is the only way to go, to produce that soft silky texture, brought out beautifully in this chinese style dish.

Serves 4 as a side.

1 big fat beautiful eggplant, skin left on, sliced lengthways and cut into 8ths or 10ths, depending how fat the eggplant is (you can use the black skin or purple and white skinned variety, both work just as well).
Optional puk choy, rinsed thoroughly and quartered lengthwise
1-2 cloves garlic, sliced very thinly
1/2 small nob ginger, finely julienned
3-4 T shao hsing wine
1 heaped tsp brown sugar
2 T soy sauce
dash of mirin
1 block silken tofu, broken into large chunks, or diced into neat nice squares
2 green onions, finely sliced

Quarter fill with water a large pot fitted with an asian bamboo steamer. Alternatively, if you don't have the proper steamer, you can use a stainless steel vegetable steamer. I fill the water to just below the bottom of it, and then on top of it place a dinner plate and place the eggplant on top of that. Cover with the pot lid and voila - works just as well.. poor man's steamer.. just careful not to burn yourself.. things get very steamy and scauldy!

To the steamer/make-do plate & cheap-ass steamer, place the eggplant and optional puk choy and sprinkle with garlic, ginger and a little salt. Place the lid on.
Steam for about 8 minutes, or until eggplant (& puk choy) is soft.
Remove carefully and place on a serving platter. Pile the silken tofu on top immediately, to warm it through.
In a small bowl, whisk together the shao hsing wine, brown sugar, soy and mirin. Adjust to taste if necessary and drizzle over the top of the tofu and eggplant (& puk choy), finishing off by sprinkling with the green onions.

Goes very nicely with steaming hot rice and a sprinkling of black sesame seeds!

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