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Healthy Mapo Eggplant with Tofu

Healthy Mapo Eggplant with Tofu

I used tofu instead of ground meat! Although it's low in fat, this mapo eggplant is still quite hearty. The spicy flavor really whets your appetite.

Ingredients: 2 to 3 servings

Eggplants
3 (or 4 small; slim Japanese type)
Carrot
1/3
Firm tofu
1/2 block
☆ Japanese leek
1/3
☆ Ginger
1 piece
☆ Garlic
1 clove
☆ Doubanjiang
1 to 2 teaspoons (adjust to taste)
☆ Sansho pepper powder (or sansho peppercorns)
a little (optional)
◆ Chicken soup stock granules
1 teaspoon
◆ Sake
1 tablespoon
◆Tian mian jiang (Chinese sweet bean paste)
1 tablespoon
◆ Soy sauce
1 tablespoon
◆ Oyster sauce
1 teaspoon
◆ Boiling water
200 ml
Sesame oil
1 tablespoon + more to finish
Vegetable oil
2 tablespoons
Soy sauce
1 teaspoon
Katakuriko slurry
As needed
Green onions (to finish)
To taste

Steps

1. Wrap the tofu in paper towels, put on a heatproof dish and microwave for 2 minutes. Drain off the excess moisture completely.
2. Cut the eggplant lengthwise into 4 to 8 slices. Soak the slices in water for about 5 minutes then drain well, and pat dry well with paper towels.
3. Finely chop the leek, ginger and garlic. Thinly slice the green onion you'll be using as topping too.
4. Cut the carrot in half lengthwise, then slice thinly diagonally. Combine the ◆ ingredients together.
5. Heat up 1 tablespoon of sesame oil in a wok or frying pan. Add the well drained tofu, and scramble with several cooking chopsticks held together.
6. Keep scrambling and stir-frying the tofu over medium heat, until the texture resembles ground meat. Add 1 teaspoon of soy sauce and stir-fry quickly. Remove from the pan.
7. Wipe out the pan, add some vegetable oil and heat up again. Add the eggplant and stir-fry over medium heat. When the eggplant is wilted and has started to brown, take it out.
8. Heat up the pan again, add all the ☆ ingredients and stir-fry over medium heat. When it's fragrant add the carrot and continue stir-frying.
9. When the carrot has wilted, re-add the cooked tofu and eggplant and stir-fry quickly. Add the combined ◆ ingredients and simmer over low heat for about 2 minutes.
10. When the sauce has reduced a bit, add some katakuriko dissolved in water to thicken the sauce. Swirl in some sesame oil to finish.
11. Transfer to serving plates, top with the green onions and it's done. If you like it more spicy, you can drizzle on some ra-yu spicy sesame oil.

Story Behind this Recipe

I wanted to eat some mapo eggplant but didn't have any ground meat! That's when I remembered that there's a method of cooking tofu so that it has the texture of ground meat, so I tried it out to in this version of mapo eggplant.