Vegetable

Honey-Soy Sauce Tofu & Eggplant Stir Fry

by:
March  9, 2021
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Author Notes

One of my close friends from college graduated as a "point-5er"—in other words, in mid-December instead of the more traditional end-of-May. For her last day on campus, she invited me to her place for lunch, where we had an everything-but-the-kitchen-sink stir fry that consisted largely of vegetables from her CSA. Served warm over chickpea pasta on a cold and snowy Rhode Island winter day, this meal would sit in the back of my mind for years, until I finally caved to memorializing it in a recipe. In this final version, I don't add salt at any point—the soy sauce (even a low sodium version) provides more than enough balance.

In harmony with the clear-out-the-fridge, everything-must-be-used vibe, I encourage adding in or swapping out ingredients as desired—just make sure to add them into the sauté pan in stages based on cook time. If you'd like to add a meat protein, treat it like the tofu: fully cook it first, remove it from the pan, and add it back at the very end. —m_herrema

  • Prep time 20 minutes
  • Cook time 25 minutes
  • Serves 4-6 servings
Ingredients
  • 14 ounces extra firm tofu
  • sesame oil
  • vegetable oil
  • soy sauce
  • honey
  • ground black pepper
  • 4 cloves garlic, diced
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 1 medium eggplant, diced
  • red pepper flakes
  • 1 medium broccoli, head cut into florets & stems diced
  • 3 stalks celery, diced
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and diced
  • 3 stalks kale, torn from stem into bite-sized pieces
  • chickpea pasta or rice, for serving
In This Recipe
Directions
  1. Prepare the tofu by cutting into 1-inch slabs and placing on a paper-towel lined baking sheet. Cover with another layer of paper towels and place another baking sheet on top. Let sit for 20 minutes, then cut tofu into 1-inch cubes.
  2. Heat sesame oil and vegetable oil in a large sauté pan over high heat, about ⅓ sesame to ⅔ vegetable oil. Add tofu and cook, stirring frequently, 1 to 2 minutes. Add soy sauce and honey to taste, stirring to coat tofu evenly. Once tofu is crisped on all sides (3 to 4 minutes), remove from pan and set aside.
  3. Clean/scrape any burnt bits from the pan; add more sesame oil and vegetable oil in same ratio. Once oil is heated, add onions and garlic, stirring occasionally, for 1 minute, then add eggplant. Eggplant will reduce in size as it cooks; add soy sauce, honey, red pepper flakes, and pepper to taste, and cook until eggplant starts to get tender, about 3-5 minutes.
  4. Add carrots and celery to sauté pan, cook for about 1 minute, then add broccoli. Add more soy sauce, honey, red pepper flakes, and black pepper to taste; add a touch more vegetable oil, if needed. Cook, stirring occasionally, until broccoli, carrots, and celery reached desired tenderness (I prefer vegetables to be cooked, but retain a sense of crunch). Sample a few pieces and add soy sauce, honey, peppers, etc. to adjust flavor it necessary. Turn off heat, but do not remove from burner.
  5. While sauté pan still on warm burner, add kale and shovel other vegetable on top of it, so that kale wilts slightly and turns bright green. Add tofu and stir until evenly distributed. Remove from heat and serve warm, over chickpea pasta or rice.

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