When we get Chinese take out we inevitably go for the eggplant in spicy garlic sauce. It is one of our favorites and it is something I've found to be consistently good across a wide spectrum of restaurants. However, the drawback to the dish is that it is almost always swimming in oil. I had picked up an eggplant at the produce market and went looking for a way to replicate this dish without all the oil. I found a recipe for a spicy garlic sauce that looked pretty good and then decided to broil the eggplant rather than stir fry it. I cut it into cubes and sprayed it with a bit of olive oil (I got a new oil mister recently and I really love it) and put it under the broiler until the cubes were browned and tender. Once the sauce was ready I just tossed the cooked eggplant cubes with the sauce and served it over brown basmati rice. It was really good but I think I should have doubled the sauce.
Last night I decided to try it again but this time with tofu. So I doubled the sauce (except the sugar) and added some ginger in with the garlic. It was perfect!
Tofu in Spicy Garlic Sauce
1 lb extra firm tofu, sliced into 12 slices and patted dry
4 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 tablespoon light soy sauce
2 tablespoon dark soy sauce
4 teaspoons Chinese rice wine or dry sherry
1 1/2 teaspoon chili sauce, or according to taste
3/4 teaspoon Asian sesame oil
1 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons water
Olive oil spray
10 cloves garlic and 2 inch piece of ginger, finely chopped together
Combine the rice vinegar, sugar, soy sauces, rice wine or sherry, chili sauce and sesame oil in a small bowl, stirring to combine. In a separate small bowl, dissolve the cornstarch in the water.
Spray a sauté pan with olive oil. Add the garlic and ginger and cook, stirring until aromatic (about 30 seconds).
Quickly restir the sauce, add it into the saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring. (This will take about a minute).
Re-stir the cornstarch/water mixture and add it to the sauce, stirring to thicken
Spray a saute pan with olive oil and heat to medium. Put tofu slices in pan and leave them (don't be tempted to mess with them) until they start to brown around the edges. When browned, flip them over and brown the other side. Toss with the garlic sauce.