Roasted sweet and sour eggplant and tofu

By Wendy Andresen | Oct 09, 2019
Photo by: Wendy Andresen A serving of roasted sweet and sour eggplant and tofu stir fry.

Here’s an interesting version of a classic stir fry. Now is the time to try it while eggplant and peppers are starring at the farmers’ market. It’s easy to prepare all the vegetables and toss them in the pan all at once, and you don’t have to stand and keep stirring. I’ve tried a lot of different sweet-and-sour sauces, and I think this one strikes the perfect balance. I like to add a little heat in the form of sambal oelek or chili garlic sauce, but I admit to being a hothead.

Ingredients:

2/3 cup water

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce or liquid aminos

2 Tbsp. ketchup

1 tsp. sambal oelek (optional; for heat)

2 Tbsp. cornstarch

Nonstick cooking spray

1 pound baby eggplant, diagonally sliced 1 inch thick

1 red bell pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces

12 to 16 ounces extra-firm tofu, such as Heiwa, cubed

2 to 3 cloves garlic, minced

1 Tbsp. minced fresh ginger

2 Tbsp. avocado oil

2 scallions, sliced thin diagonally

1/4 cup roughly chopped basil

1/4 cup roughly chopped cilantro

Directions:

1. Make the sauce: Whisk together the water, vinegar, sugar, soy sauce, ketchup, sambal oelek (if you’re using it), and cornstarch over medium heat until thickened. Remove it from the heat, add the tofu cubes, and let marinate for at least 1 hour.

2. Top a large sheet pan with aluminum foil and spray it generously with nonstick cooking spray. Add the eggplant, peppers, garlic, and ginger; drizzle with avocado oil. Toss everything around until it’s evenly coated with oil. Try to spread the vegetables out into a single layer.

3. After the tofu has marinated, carefully lift out the pieces of tofu one by one with a fork and place them on the baking pan with the vegetables. Reserve the remaining sauce to add at the end.

4. Roast the vegetables and tofu at 425 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes, turning once halfway through, until the vegetables are tender but not mushy. Add the scallions when turning.

5. Remove the pan from the oven and transfer the ingredients to a large serving bowl. Briefly reheat the extra sauce and pour it over all.

6. Garnish with chopped basil and cilantro and serve with rice or noodles.

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