Eating

Eggplant & Tofu Braised in Honey Soy Sauce

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My friend Piyusha came over for dinner the other night for some long overdue catch up over a good meal and some wine. Because she is vegetarian, I really wanted to take the opportunity to try out some veggie dishes that Colin would probably normally scoff at for not having enough Meatiness. HA!

That morning, I checked my fridge to see if I could get away with not making an extra run to the grocery store. Since Colin & I have moved in together, we are still readjusting to how much food we need to buy & cook, and we’ve definitely been erring on the abundant side. A quick peek into the fridge revealed a ton of veggies, including a gigantic eggplant, a block of firm tofu and various tupperwares partially full of lunch portion leftovers. And random red bulls and about 10 hot sauces. Oh, and 4 dozen eggs. They were on sale!

The eggplant and tofu jumped out to ,me as perfect stars for a veggie meal that would still be filling enough to satisfy my jacked up metabolism, and some quick online research revealed a tofu cooking method I had not tried before: braising.

Just as you braise meat, you sear the tofu first, and then cook it slowly in a liquid so it can soak up lots of flavor. Of course, being tofu and a natural flavor sponge, you don’t have to cook it as long, so that worked perfectly for something I would have to start cooking after work.

The resulting meal was very tasty and full of texture. Piyusha gave it the thumbs up, so I’m sharing it here for all my vegetarian friends and omnivores looking for a break from meat that is still hearty enough to satisfy!


Ingredients:

  • 1 block firm or extra firm tofu
  • 1 medium eggplant
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 1 large tomato or 2 roma
  • 1 cup frozen green peas
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 cup low sodium soy sauce
  • 3 TB honey
  • salt/pepper/olive oil

Steps:

  1. Cut the tofu into thin blocks
2. Heat up a non-stick pan and add a swirl of olive oil and a dusting of garlic salt & black pepper
3.  Once the pan is hot (you can feel the heat about 6 in off the surface), place the tofu in the pan in one layer and shake some garlic salt & pepper on the top. Let cook about 5 min.
4. While tofu is cooking dice the eggplant in about 1/2 in cubes. Do the same for the tomato. Slice the bell pepper into strips. Mince the garlic.
5. Check the tofu to see if the bottom side is getting nicely toasted to a golden brown. If so, start flipping the tofu over and let cook another 5-7 min til the other side is nicely toasted as well.
6. While the tofu is cooking, get a small bowl and whisk together the soy sauce & honey.
7. Take the tofu out of the pan & set aside. In the same pan, add a little olive oil and add the eggplant to cook, keeping the heat high. You want to sear the eggplant and get some nice brown edges on it. Cook, stirring occasionally, about 7 min
8. Once the eggplant has cooked down some. Add the tofu back in the pan and add the diced tomato, garlic,  & the soy sauce/honey mixture. Stir to distribute and lower the heat to medium. Cover the pan loosely and cook for 10 min.
9. After 10 min, add the bell pepper and cook 5 min. Add the green peas and cook til just barely warmed and the color is still bright green. Taste and see if it needs any extra salt (probably won’t!)
10. Serve immediately over rice.

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