Sunday, March 18, 2012

Pork, Tofu and Eggplant Stir Fry with Thai Basil

I really impressed myself with this dish because it did the impossible.  I used two ingredients in the dish that my husband really dislikes and made it into something he actually ate and enjoyed.  Now I'm not saying he's a tofu and eggplant convert or something, but for him to try a dish with eggplant or tofu in it is amazing.  I love eggplant, but I'm still on the fence when it comes to tofu.  I think it's a texture thing with me.  I have baked tofu and sauteed it, but this time I really let it fry and become almost crispy on the edges. I also cooked the three components of the dish separately so it gave each ingredient time to become cooked perfectly.  Then I finished the dish off with a flavorful Asian sauce and Thai Basil.  I am still thrilled I got my husband to eat this dish and my next challenge is to get the kids to try it....

1lb of lean boneless pork loin cut into strips
8oz of firm tofu cut into strips
2-3 Chinese eggplants cut into strips
cornstarch as needed
1 Tbs of grated ginger
1 Tbs of grated garlic
red chili flakes to taste
salt and black pepper to taste
1 large handful of Thai Basil leaves
1 bunch of scallions chopped

The Sauce:
1/4 cup soy sauce
1Tbs Oyster Sauce
1/4 Chinese Cooking  Rice Wine or dry sherry
1-2 tsp of brown sugar (to taste)
1/4 cup of water
1-2 tsp of cornstarch 

Cut tofu into long strips. Toss the tofu with some salt, black pepper and cornstarch.   In a large wok, heat 2 tsp of canola oil until very hot on high heat. Add tofu and allow it to really fry and brown. Do not move around, just flip and get all sides well browned. This will take almost 10 minutes. Once all sides are browned well, remove tofu from pan and set aside until later.
Note: I ask that you salt each component, but be conservative with your salt because you will also add the soy sauce later.

Cut the eggplant into long strips. Add 1 tsp of oil to the wok (it may have some oil remaining from frying the tofu) and begin to stir fry.  When the eggplants starts to brown, add some salt and black pepper. Saute until tender. Remove from pan.

Cut pork into thin strips.  Season with some salt and black pepper then dust with cornstarch.  Add 1-2 tsp more oil into the wok. Add pork and stir fry.  When pork is more than halfway cooked through add ginger, garlic and chili flakes. Stir Fry for another minute.
 Add sauce and Thai Basil leaves. Then add your cooked tofu and eggplant back into the pan.

Stir fry all the ingredients together. Allow sauce to boil for 1-2 minutes until thick.  Taste for seasoning.  Then finally add scallions and mix well. Allow dish to sit for 5 minutes before serving.  Serve with rice. Enjoy.

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