Twice Cooked Eggplant with Garlic and Basil

vegetable oil
2/3 pound Asian eggplant, cut on the diagonal into 2/3 inch thick slices
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 shallot, thinly sliced
3 Thai bird chilies or 1 serrano chili, chopped
2/3 cup Asian basil leaves, roughly torn
6 ounces tofu, drained and cut into 2/3 inch cubes
1 1/2 tablespoons mushroom sauce
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/3 cup water

Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a skillet over high heat and swirl to coat the entire surface. Add the eggplant slices in one layer work in batches if necessary and sear briefly on both sides, about 1 to 2 minutes total. Do not cook completely. Drain on paper towels and keep warm. Repeat with the remaining eggplant, adding more oil as necessary. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a pan over high heat. Add the garlic, shallot, chilies, one third of the basil, tofu, mushroom sauce and soy sauce and stir gently until fragrant, the sauce is slightly reduced, another 3 to 4 minutes. Add the eggplant slices and the remaining basil leaves and stir until the vegetables are thoroughly hot. Quickly transfer to a platter and serve immediately.



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