Make Way

Thai Basil Eggplant

and

Grand Ma’s Tofu

Thai Basil Eggplant & Grand Ma's Tofu

There is just something about Chinese food around the holidays, it just feels right!  This week I had the added encouragement of /52weeks Take Out at Home theme.  I debated about trying a thincrust pizza but forgetting to add water to the bread machine took care of that idea, so on to Chinese Food!  Joe and I get Chinese food about once a month and our favorite place no longer ask us what we want, they hear my name and they know we are calling for eggplant and tofu.  I had wanted to try making both of these recipes for awhile but every recipe I found online featured either pork or fish sauce and I wasn’t sure how our place does it without either of those.  So I started experimenting with sauces, testing them out on soba noodles until I found the “right” combination.  The hardest part was finding a chili paste for the tofu that didn’t include shrimp paste or fish sauce, but after a very long trip to the Asian grocery store I was able to locate one that was safe!

Thai Basil Eggplant

serves 4

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp Vegetable Oil
  • 1.5 lbs Thai eggplant, roll cut
  • 1/2 vidalia onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 Thai green chilies, diced
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/2 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 3/4 Thai basil, well rinsed and loosely chopped

Instructions

  1. Heat the vegetable oil in a large wok over medium heat. Add the eggplant and cook for 5-7minutes, then add the onion. Cook for another 5minutes then add the garlic and green chilies and cook for another 5 minutes. The eggplant should be starting to brown while the onion should be turning golden.
  2. Add the soy sauce, water, and vinegar. Stir well then add the Thai basil. Turn heat to low and cover. Cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking. Serve hot over rice or rice noodles.
http://www.dancingveggies.com/blog/2012/12/make-way.html

Grand Ma's Eggplant

serves 4

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup mushrooms, minced
  • 16 oz tofu, well pressed & cubed
  • 2 Thai Chilies
  • 4 spring onions, chopped (all whites and some tops)
  • 2 tbsp chili bean paste
  • 1/4 cup vegetable stock
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1/2 tbsp rice vinegar

Instructions

  1. Heat the vegetable oil in a large wok or saute pan, then add the mushrooms and cook for 7-10 minutes. Add the tofu and cook until brown on each side, about 5 minutes each. Add the onion tops and green chilies and cook for an additional 3 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile mix together the onion whites, bean paste, vegetable stock, soy sauce, and rice vinegar. Pour the sauce over the tofu, and bring to a quick boil before turning heat to low. Simmer for 10 minutes, or until sauce has reduced by half. Serve over rice or rice noodles and enjoy!
http://www.dancingveggies.com/blog/2012/12/make-way.html

The best part about these dishes is that the sauces are so versatile, could easily switch things up and do a Thai Basil Tofu or a Grand Ma’s Eggplant.  Each of these dishes would also make a great topping for some rice noodles, or just as they are.