Tofu is popular among the vegan community. Others do not find it appealing, particularly because of its subtle flavour. This recipe gives a boost to the ‘flavourless’ tofu with a Chinese five-spice coating and a bath of spicy tomato sauce. The third component in this recipe is the sweet and salty addition of the aubergine, which is cooked in a sauce reduction made of soy sauce, rice vinegar and sugar.
Although it seems that a lot of components are involved in making this dish, it is in fact very simple to prepare. You can easily impress your family or friends with this recipe as the result is a sophisticated taste.
The tomato sauce can be prepare in larger batches and any extra portions can be frozen for future use. The flavour will intensify over time, making it a richer and more complex taste than it already is.
Apart from the light frying involved, this recipe is a healthy dish that can be enjoyed by all the family. Here’s what you need to do:
Spiced Tofu with Aubergine and Spicy Tomato Sauce
An easy to prepare dinner for a weeknight in
- For the tomato sauce:
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- 1 yellow onion
- 4 garlic cloves
- 1 inch piece of ginger
- 1 red chilli pepper
- 2 tsp ground cardamom
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 400g tomato passata
- 1 tbsp sugar For the aubergine:
- 1 aubergine
- 2 tbsp sesame oil
- 1 inch piece of ginger, peeled and finely grated
- 4 garlic cloves, finely sliced
- 50ml light soy sauce
- 50ml rice vinegar
- 50ml water
- 1 tsp sugar For the tofu:
- 40g plain flour
- 40g cornflour
- 1 tsp ground black pepper
- 1 tbsp Chinese five spice
- 200g firm tofu
- Vegetable oil for frying
- Sesame seeds, to serve
- Finely dice the onion and finely chop the garlic, ginger and chilli peppers.
- In a large saucepan, heat the coconut oil on a medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until soft and transluscent.
- Add the garlic, ginger, chilli peppers, cardamom and tomato paste and sauté for another 2 minutes until fragrant.
- Pour in the tomato passata and bring to boil.
- Reduce the heat and simmer covered for 15 minutes, until the sauce thickens.
- Add the sugar (if necessary) and season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat and set aside.
- For the aubergine: Cut the aubergine in half lengthwise and cut it into 1 inch thick wedges.
- In a saucepan, heat the sesame oil on a medium heat. Add the garlic and ginger and sauté until fragrant.
- Add the soy sauce, rice vinegar, water and sugar and bring to boil. Simmer for 10 minutes until the liquid is reduced by half.
- Stir in the aubergine wedges, season with salt and pepper and simmer until the aubergine is cooked through and the sauce is shiny, about 8 minutes. Set aside and keep warm.
- In a small mixing bowl, combine the flour, corn flour, Chinese 5-spice, salt and pepper.
- Cut the tofu into 1 inch cubes and pat it dry as much as possible.
- Toss the tofu cubes into the spiced flour mixture until they are well coated.
- In a pan, pour a generous amount of vegetable oil. Place it on a high heat.
- When hot, gently place the tofu cubes into the oil and fry for 2 minutes on each side until they have a golden colour.
- Using a slotted spoon, remove the tofu and place it on a napkin to remove any excess oil.
- To serve, pour the tomato sauce into the a bowl plate, and top it with the aubergine and tofu. Sprinkle some sesame seeds on top.