Eggplant + Tofu Adobo over Rice
Why we love it:
- 1 package Firm Tofu (look for the shrink wrapped kind not in water)
- 11⁄2 pounds Japanese Eggplant
- 1 Tablespoon Vegetable Oil (divided)
- 3⁄4 cup White Vinegar (distilled)
- 3⁄4 cup Soy Sauce
- 1 Tablespoon Brown Sugar
- 5 Bay Leafs (dried)
- 1 head Garlic
- 2 Jalapeños (divided, optional)
- 1⁄2 teaspoon Black Pepper
- 1 cup Long Grain White Rice (uncooked)
- 2 cups Water
- 1⁄2 teaspoon Kosher Salt
- 1 Tablespoon Unsalted Butter
- 3⁄4 pound Brussels Sprouts
1. TOFU + EGGPLANT
Open the tofu and cut it into even cubes.
Slice the eggplant in half lengthwise and place them cut side down. Slice lengthwise again. Then slice into 2 inch long segments.
Heat ½ of the vegetable oil in a large, heavy Dutch oven or pot over medium heat. Add tofu first and sear on 2-3 of the sides for about 1-2 minutes each until it’s nicely golden. Remove to a plate.
Heat the rest of the oil, then fry the eggplant pieces on 1-2 of the sides until they’re golden and getting soft - cook these for about 6 minutes total. Add the tofu back to the pot.
Measure out the vinegar, soy sauce, brown sugar, and bay leaves. Slice the head of garlic in half - right though the paper skins and all. Slice one jalapeño in half lengthwise; slice the other one into rounds and set aside. Pour all of this over the tofu and eggplant in the pot. Bring to a simmer, then reduce heat to low, stirring to dissolve sugar. Season generously with black pepper.
Once simmering, turn to coat the tofu and eggplant, and turn the heat down to medium-low. Maintain a steady simmer for about 10-12 minutes. The sauce will thicken by evaporating but if it ever looks too thin, turn heat lower and partially cover the pan.
Combine rice, water, and salt in a small pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce to low and cover. Steam for 17 minutes or until water is absorbed and it’s tender. Leave on the stovetop, off the heat until ready to serve.
Trim the ends of the brussels sprouts and cut them in half. Using a large sauté pan over high heat, melt the butter, then add the brussels. Sear for about 3-4 minutes, and once they’re golden brown, toss to flip them over and brown the other side. Add about 1 Tablespoon of water to the pan and let it sizzle off while shaking the pan, this will help them steam a little bit. Continue cooking for another minute or so to brown.
Serve a big scoop of rice topped with eggplant, tofu and sauce. Brussels sprouts go on the side. Garnish with jalapeno rounds to taste.