Thai Basil Eggplant
"A favourite thai dish that is quite simple to make"Serves 4-6 | Prep Time 10 min | Cook Time 25 min
Why I Love This Recipe
FEATURING: Thai basil (or genovese basil), eggplant, pepper, garlic scapes, and fresh onion.
A favourite thai recipe that is easy to make and full of taste! I usually don't have hoisin sauce at home so I use the substitute included in the recipe. If so, I add the Garlic Black Bean sauce slowly and adjust quantity to taste (as some garlic black bean sauce can be quite salty and pasty).
Ingredients You'll Need
1 large Italian eggplant (or 2 medium Japanese or Chinese eggplants)
3 bell peppers, thinly sliced
1 white onion (or fresh onion), halved and thinly sliced
1 14-oz. (454 g) block firm tofu, rinsed and chopped into 1/2 inch cubes (or same amount of protein of your choice)
2 garlic scapes, minced (or 2 garlic cloves, minced)
1/4-1/2 cup of thai basil leaves
A few Tbsp oil (ex.: sunflower, safflower)
FOR THE SAUCE
4 1/2 Tbsp Hoisin Sauce (it is not exactly the same taste but I often substitute hoisin sauce for: 2 Tbsp tamari or soy sauce + 1-2 Tbsp garlic black bean sauce + 1 Tbsp rice vinegar+ 1/2 Tbsp of sugar- or to taste)
1/2 cup of tamari or soy sauce
1/4 cup water
1-2 tsp Sriracha or other chili sauce
2 tsp cornstarch
TO PREPARE THE EGGPLANT:
Cut off the top and bottom tips.
If you are using Italian eggplants: Slice the eggplant lengthwise into 3/4-inch slabs. Then cut each slice lengthwise into 3/4-inch slices. Cut each slice into 2 or 3 pieces diagonally (see picture above for an example of how the eggplant pieces should end up looking).
If you are using Chinese or Japanese eggplants: Slice the eggplant in half lengthwise. Then diagonally cut small sections about 3/4-Inch thick all the way down both halves.
In a large non-stick pan or stainless steel pan, heat 2-3 Tbsp oil on medium heat.
Add the eggplant pieces and toss to coat them in oil. Add a little amount of water (approx. 1/8 of a cup), turn the heat down to low-medium, cover, and let the eggplant cook.
Check the eggplant every 3-5 minutes to make sure the eggplant does not burn or stick to the pan. Stir the eggplant pieces and feel free to add a little more oil or water to help cook the eggplant and keep it from sticking to the pan if you need (if adding water to help cook the eggplant, be sure to add a small amount each time so that you don't end up with watery mushy eggplant). While the eggplant is cooking continue on to preparing the rest of the dish.
The eggplant is done once it is cooked, but firm so it is still holding shape. Turn off the heat and set aside in the pan.
TO PREPARE THE TOFU (you can also substitute the tofu for the protein of your choice):
Add 1-2 Tbsp of oil on medium-high heat. When oil is hot, add the tofu and fry, stirring frequently, until tofu is lightly golden brown on most sides (be sure not to burn the tofu). While the tofu is cooking, continue on to prepare the sauce.
TO PREPARE THE SAUCE:
Whisk all ingredients listed under sauce above. Mix until all the cornstarch has dissolved. Add more chili sauce if you prefer more spice.
Once the tofu is done, set it aside in a separate bowl.
In the same non-stick frying pan pan, add 1 Tbsp oil and heat on medium-high. Add the thinly sliced onions and bell peppers. Saute until they are cooked but still crispy. Add the minced garlic half way through and saute it into the onions and bell peppers.
TO PREPARE THE DISH:
Add the cooked tofu and veggies to the pan with the cooked eggplant. Turn the heat up to medium and stir in the sauce.
Once the pan is hot, turn the heat down to low-medium and mix frequently until the sauce slightly thickens and coats the eggplant and veggies. Do not burn off all the sauce. This should only take a few minutes.
Turn off the heat and add some freshly chopped basil. Mix once more and serve on hot rice noodles, rice, or quinoa!