Here’s a spicy eggplant and tofu in garlic sauce recipe that’s a tasty variation on a well-loved dish in western Chinese restaurants. This interpretation of garlic eggplant tofu doesn’t aim to be authentic so much as easy and flavorful.
Most often, eggplant in garlic sauce comes without the tofu, and is one of the spicier dishes in the vegetable section of the menu. Of course, you can make it as spicy (or not) as you prefer.
Use long, slender Japanese eggplants if you can (they make the prep super easy). Regular eggplant works well, too, in this naturally plant-based dish.
What to serve with garlic eggplant and tofu
Since this isn’t a colorful dish, it’s nice to liven up the plate with some simply prepared broccoli, broccolini, or an Asian green like gai lan (Chinese Broccoli). A few cherry or grape tomatoes or pickled beets add color to the plate as well.
Recipe adapted from Vegan Express by Nava Atlas. Photos by Hannah Kaminsky, BittersweetBlog.com.
- Find lots more delicious global vegan eggplant recipes
- More ways to use tofu
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- 1 tablespoon neutral vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon dark sesame oil
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 5 sto 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 long Japanese eggplants, or 1 medium eggplant, about 1 pound total
- 14.5-ounce tub extra-firm tofu
- 1/4 cup dry white or red wine, or cooking sherry
- 1/3 cup hoisin sauce, or to taste
- 2 tablespoons fermented black beans, optional
- 2 teaspoons grated fresh or jarred ginger, or more, to taste
- 4 large stalks bok choy or celery, thinly sliced on a diagonal
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce, or more to taste
- Sriracha, dried hot pepper flakes, or other hot seasoning
- Hot cooked rice, rice noodles, or bean thread noodles for serving
- Thinly sliced scallions and/or chopped cilantro for topping
- Heat the oil in a stir-fry pan. Add the onion and garlic and sauté over medium-low heat until golden.
- Cut the Japanese eggplants into 1/4-inch thick slices. Or, if using regular eggplant, quarter lengthwise, then into 1/4-inch thick slices.
- Cut the tofu into 6 slabs crosswise. Blot well on paper towels (or, use a tofu press a little ahead of time), then cut into dice.
- Add the eggplant and tofu to the pan, followed by the wine, hoisin sauce, optional black beans, ginger, and 1/4 cup water. Cook, covered, over medium heat for 5 minutes, or until the eggplant is nearly tender. Lift the lid once or twice to stir. Cook, uncovered, for 5 minutes longer, or until the liquid has been reduced.
- Add the bok choy, and cook, uncovered, for just a minute or two, until warmed. Season to taste with soy sauce and sriracha.
- Serve at once over rice or noodles. Garnish each serving with scallions, cilantro, or both. Pass around hot seasoning for spicing up individual portions.
See more delicious stir-fries.