Szechuan-Style Eggplant with Noodles
This recipe is based on one of my favorite Chinese take-out dishes—spicy eggplant—with a lot less fat, and served with noodles. I’ve devised this lower-fat version as a way to satisfy my craving for it, and at the same time, I’ve added enough tofu to make it a substantial main dish.
- 2 smalish medium eggplants, about 1 to 1 1/2 pounds total
- 1 tablespoon safflower or other vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon dark sesame oil
- 1 small onion, minced
- 4 to 5 large cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup dry sherry or red wine
- 2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger, or more to taste
- 6 to 8 ounces Chinese wheat noodles, udon noodles, or bean-thread noodles
- 8 ounces extra-firm tofu, diced
- 4 large celery stalks, thinly sliced on a diagonal
- 1/4 cup hoisin sauce
- 1 tablespoon reduced-sodium soy sauce, or more to taste
- Asian hot sauce (such as sriracha), Thai red chili paste,
or other hot condiment, to taste
Peel the eggplants, cut them into 1/2-inch-thick slices, then slice the rounds thinly into strips.
Heat the oil in a wok or stir-fry pan. Add the garlic and onion and sauté over medium-low heat until golden.
Add the sherry, eggplant strips, and ginger, along with about 1/4 cup water. Cook, covered, over medium heat for 5 minutes. Lift the lid once or twice during that time to stir.
Cook the noodles in plenty of rapidly simmering water until al dente. When done, drain and cover to keep warm.
Meanwhile, stir the tofu, celery, and hoisin sauce into the wok. Season to taste with soy sauce and chile oil. Stir-fry over medium-high heat, uncovered, for 10 minutes. Serve at once over the hot noodles.