My roommate is a picky eater. So, I take it upon myself to cook foods she claims not to like and try to force her to enjoy it :) But in all seriousness, I think most people claim not to like certain foods because they've only tried it cooked in certain ways. In this dish, I've taken two of my roommate's least favourite ingredients, tofu and eggplants (which taste relatively bland by itself), and braised it with pork in a delicious spicy and savoury sauce. The good thing about tofu and eggplants is that they're like sponges, so they suck up all the saucy goodness, turning them from flat to flavourful! Needless to say, this dish is now a favourite in the house.
Braised Pork, Tofu and Eggplant (serves 6)
1 T vegetable oil
1 lb lean ground pork
1 large eggplant, cut into 1/2 inch dice
1 package (425g) regular/medium tofu, cut into 1/2 inch dice
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup chicken stock
3 T oyster sauce
1 T dark soy sauce
2 T chili garlic sauce (or more/less depending on how much you like spice!)
1 T cornstarch
1 green onion, sliced thin
Pinch of white pepper
1. Add oil to hot wok (or pot/saucepan) and fry garlic and ground pork until just cooked through.
2. Add eggplant, chicken stock, oyster sauce, dark soy sauce and chili garlic sauce and bring to a simmer. Turn heat to medium, cover and let braise for 7-10 minutes or until eggplant is tender.
3. Add tofu and mix around to make sure the tofu gets all saucy.
4. Simmer for another 15 minutes on medium heat for the tofu to absorb the sauce.
5. Mix cornstarch with a bit of cold water and add to mixture to thicken the sauce.
6. Add white pepper and sliced green onions at the last minute.
7. Serve with rice!