Foodblogging: Szechuan Eggplant and Tofu

his is a recipe from Moosewood.  It came together really fast.  I’m happy every time I get to take our glorious oldschool steel wok out of the cabinet.

Ooh, I used a full-spectrum lamp to photograph this one.  Marvel at my rice grains.

The verdict: it was all right.  I think I would make some changes next time even if it would mean more fiddling and more cooking time.  I would fry the tofu for a bit to get some texture on it.  I wouldn’t cook the eggplant quite so long.  It’s a fine line between mushy and tender and I crossed it.  I’d like to see some more color in there too.  Red bell pepper would be a very welcome addition.  Maybe a whole szechuan pepper thrown in there for flavor too.  The 3 tablespoons of cornstarch was a bit of overkill too, and let to a slightly pasty mouthfeel and dulled the flavor.  Vegetable broth instead of water would bring a lot more to the party.  The cilantro was key to the whole thing though.  Without it this dish would be a total flop.

It’s always strange when the garnish carries a whole meal.

I’m eating it for lunch so we’ll see how it holds up on the second day.