Gather your loved ones around for a warm and inviting Chinese-inspired dinner – featuring the popular Sichuan crowd-favourite – the eggplant ma po tofu. Serve it straight from the pan, sizzling, or lay it out on a plate of warm, white rice – either way, it’s a recipe that’ll be sure to satisfy every belly, and to stay in the hearts of everyone for years to come.
- 6 baby (finger) eggplants (360 g), halved lengthways, scored
- 2 tbsps vegetable oil
- 2 clove garlic, sliced thinly
- 20 g piece fresh ginger, cut into matchsticks
- 4 green onions, sliced thinly
- 3 shiitake mushrooms (45 g), sliced thinly
- 1½ tbsp chilli bean sauce
- ½ cup (125 ml) vegetable stock
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 600 g silken tofu, cut into 5cm pieces
- 1 tsp cornflour
- 2 tbsps water
- 2 tsp toasted sichuan pepper, ground
- 2 tbsps coarsely chopped fresh garlic chives
Steam eggplant, covered, over a large wok of simmering water for 20 mins or until tender.
Meanwhile, heat oil in a large wok over high heat; stir-fry garlic, ginger and half the green onion for 30 secs or until fragrant. Add mushrooms and chilli bean sauce; stir-fry for 1 min. Add stock and soy sauce; bring to the boil. Add tofu; reduce heat, simmer, for 3 mins or until warmed through.
Combine cornflour with the water in a small bowl; add to tofu mixture. Return to the boil; boil until mixture thickens. Remove from heat. Stir in ground pepper and three-quarters of the chives.
Serve eggplant topped with tofu mixture, sprinkled with remaining chives and remaining green onion.