Crisp Tofu and Eggplant with Miso Glaze

Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Easy

  • Serves

    4

    as a Main Course

Appears in

Cooking One on One

Cooking One on One

By John Ash

Published 2004

  • About

This brings together two different soy products, tofu and miso. I’m using pea shoots here, but if you can’t find them, tender spinach works just as well.

Ingredients

  • 1 12-to-16-ounce block of firm regular or silken tofu
  • ¾ cup sake
  • 4 tablespoons mirin (sweet rice wine)
  • cups red or white miso, or a combination
  • cup sugar
  • Canola or other vegetable oil for frying
  • Flour (preferably rice flour) lightly seasoned with salt and cayenne pepper, for dredging
  • 4 small Japanese eggplants, stemmed and cut into thick coins or lengthwise, about ¼ inch thick
  • 8 ounces fresh pea shoots or baby spinach
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon peeled and finely minced fresh ginger

Method

GENTLY PRESS and drain the tofu on paper towels for at least 15 minutes. Cut the tofu into 8 crosswise slices and again place on paper towels to absorb moisture. Meanwhile, combine the sake and mirin in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Add the miso and sugar and stir over medium heat, without boiling, until smooth. Set aside.

Preheat the oven to 225°F. Heat about ¼ inch of vegetable oil in a large sauté pan. Dust the tofu with the seasoned flour, shake off any excess, and shallow-fry until golden brown on each side. Keep warm on paper-towel-lined baking sheets in the oven.

Dredge the eggplant in the seasoned flour as above, and cook it, in batches if necessary, until golden on both sides. (It’s perfectly okay to use the same oil in the same pan from the tofu.) Drain it on paper towels and keep warm. Pour out the oil and wipe out the pan.

Toss the pea shoots with the soy sauce, sesame oil, and ginger, and quickly stir-fry in a hot pan until the shoots just barely begin to wilt, about 2 minutes.

Arrange the eggplant slices on warm plates. Top with the pea shoots and then the tofu. Spread the miso sauce over the tofu and sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds. Serve immediately.

Garnish

If you like with toasted white sesame seeds