This is an adaptation of Mapo Dofu, THE first dish I ever ordered in HK, hours after landing on August 1st 2010, and slightly perplexed why we weren't eating lunch outside on such a sunny day, until I went there... The classic combination is tofu & pork, but I frequently exclude the meat and add aubergine for a veggie finish, retaining the tofu for protein. This recipe is also inspired by the yu xiang qiezi in Ching's Fast Food, my go-to recipe book for quick HK style dishes.
What you need:
2 tbs sesame oil
1 aubergine cut into thin strips, skin on
2 cloves of garlic minced
1 inch piece of ginger, peeled & grated
1 red chilli
1 teaspoon of Szechuan chilli in oil
150g firm tofu
1 tbs of Shaoshing rice wine (or sake will do)
2 spring onions finely chopped
100ml chicken or vegetable stock
1 tbs light soy sauce
1 tbs balsamic vinegar
1 tbs cornflour
Heat 1 tbs of sesame oil in a pan and add your aubergine until they are soft and browning. Add a splash of water now and then to help steam them and prevent burning. Remove with a slotted spoon and place to one side.
Add a splash of sesame oil with the garlic, chilli, ginger and Szechuan chilli and fry for around 30 seconds. Then add the tofu breaking it up into coin size pieces. Next comes the rice wine and cook for a couple of minutes until the alcohol has evaporated.
Return the aubergine to the pan then pour in chicken stock, soy sauce, vinegar and cornflour. Bring to the boil then reduce the heat. Add the spring onions and stir through until soft.
Serve with brown rice and garnish with chopped coriander.