Miso Eggplant and Tofu

I’ve been going to the gym after work this week, mostly because I can’t figure out how to get in to the gym in the mornings (it’s in a mall that doesn’t open/locks the doors until 10 am, but the gym opens at 6? where is the mythical door that will let me in to the gym on the third flooor????). Then I get home at 7:30 or 8 and I’m ravenous. I meant to cook dinner, and one night fell asleep, and the second night ended up ordering Annie’s pizza because I didn’t have any energy.

But this eggplant dish takes less than half an hour.

Less than five minutes: wash two long eggplants. you can leave the skin on long eggplant, but I ended up wishing I had peeled it too. cut them in half, then into long slices about 1 cm thick. Lay them on a baking sheet (lined with parchment paper), brush with olive oil, and pop into a 400F degree oven for twenty minutes.

In that time, whisk together 1/4 cup miso paste, grated ginger and minced garlic, 1 Tbs soy sauce, sesame oil, honey/maple syrup (or both), mirin, a few dashes of Maggi seasoning, and about 2 Tbs water.

At the ten minute mark, carefully turn over the eggplant slices, brush with more olive oil.

Drain and cut a block of tofu into 1/2 inch cubes. I press mine on a paper towel lined plate to remove some moisture. Heat vegetable oil in a pan/wok, then add the tofu. I think tofu tastes best when seared well on all sides.

After twenty minutes, spoon the miso paste mixture onto the eggplant slices and spread out over them. Put back in the oven for 5 minutes. Add some water to thin out the remaining miso mixture, and pour it into the tofu. It will thicken into a delicious sauce–turn the heat down to low, or off completely.

If you are like me and keep ziplock bags of single servings of cooked brown rice in the freezer, take one out and pop it in the microwave for two minutes. Put it in a bowl. Or, before starting this dish, put 1 cup of rinsed quinoa to boil with 2 cups water, once the little tails pop out, it’s finished, serve quinoa in bowl and put the extra away for breakfast.  Ladle tofu onto the rice/quinoa. The oven timer will ding. Serve the eggplant.

Give it a minute before you try to eat–tofu and eggplant are both excellent insulators and you might scald your mouth while trying to stuff your face with deliciousness. The eggplant isn’t oily or rubbery, but has an amazing velvet-creamy texture, and the sauce is perfect over rice and tofu.

MIso Roasted Eggplant over pan seared tofu and quinoa

Miso Roasted Eggplant over pan seared tofu and quinoa

If you have any extra miso sauce, it makes a great vegetable dip. The intense miso flavor and saltiness can be thinned out by a spoonful of plain yogurt, or what I had on hand, cashew paste from making cashew milk.

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