Strange Flavor Eggplant

Strange Flavor Eggplant

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  • 1 large eggplant (about 1 to 1 1/2 pounds)
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons packed brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon hot water
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil, divided
  • 1 tablespoon minced ginger
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup chopped green onion
  • 1 teaspoon chopped serrano or jalapeno pepper (remove seeds for milder taste)
  • 1/2 cup crumbled firm tofu
  • 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon white sesame seeds


Preheat oven to 375° F. Rub the eggplant with the vegetable oil, wrap with aluminum foil and place on a baking tray. Bake until a knife easily pokes through the center, about 30 to 45 minutes. Remove from oven, unwrap foil and let cool atop the foil for about 15 minutes.

Slit the cooled eggplant lengthwise into two halves and use a spoon to scoop out the cooked eggplant, avoiding the skin. The skin, though edible, will take away from the silky texture of the cooked flesh. Roughly chop the scooped eggplant and set aside.

Combine the soy sauce, brown sugar, rice vinegar and water in a small bowl. Heat a large wok or skillet over medium heat, add half the sesame oil and cook the ginger, garlic, green onion and pepper until they are fragrant, about 15 seconds. Add the soy sauce mixture to the pan and cook for an extra 30 seconds. Add chopped eggplant and crumbled tofu to the pan and stir well until heated.

Ladle into serving bowls. Garnish with cilantro, remaining sesame oil and sesame seeds.

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