I’ve got to say, I LOVE this sauce. You can use it on pretty well any veggie or protein to make side dishes or the main event: eggplant, bok choy, tofu, broccoli, seitan, green beans, carrots, zucchini… you get the idea. Whip the sauce up, prepare the stuff it’ll be going on, and stick ’em together. Easy-peasy!
- 3 tsp roasted sesame oil
- 1 tsp fresh ginger, minced
- 1 tsp garlic, minced
- 1 cup veggie broth
- 3 whole anise stars
- 1 tsp red wine vinegar
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 2 tsp hoisin sauce
- 1/4 tsp Tabasco sauce
- 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1/4 tsp five-spice powder (I’ve used ground allspice in a pinch when I ran out of five-spice)
- 4 tsp cornstarch dissolved in 2 tbsp warm water
Heat the oil in a small saucepan. Add the ginger and garlic and sauté for a minute until they’re softened but not browned. In a bowl, combine the rest of the ingredients except for the cornstarch mixture. Add this to the saucepan and bring the mixture to a simmer, covered, for about 10 minutes. Remove the star anise, then whisk the cornstarch mixture in. Let everything simmer for a couple of minute, then set aside.
- about 1/2 cup of canola oil
- 2 Japanese eggplants, cut into chunks or strips
- 1 cube of firm tofu, cut into chunks or strips
Heat the oil in a wok or deep skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the tofu and eggplant pieces in batches to ensure that your pan doesn’t get overly crowded. Cook until both sides are browned, then transfer to a plate covered in paper towel to soak up the extra oil. Once all the pieces are cooked to perfection, drain off all the leftover oil (and keep it in the fridge for a few days for use in other stir-fries… deeelish!), then return the tofu and eggplant back to the pan. Add the sauce and cook for a minute or two, then serve over rice or rice noodles.