Here's another recipe inspired by my magnificent chef of a mother-in-law. Although Asian food is often modernized to be full of added oil, salt, and even sugar, traditionally it has been rich in dark green leafy vegetables, isoflavone rich soy, and anti-microbial garlic and ginger. I've decided to highlight these amazing Chinese vegetables in the last few recipes.
For those of you used to restaurant style Asian food, these might taste pretty simple to you. But if I've learned anything from my mother-in-law, it's that a little soy and oyster sauce can go a long way in flavoring a meal like this.
Wondering why it's a "goddess" bowl? Gai Lan is full of vitamins, especially Vitamin A and C, along with some important minerals- iron and calcium. These are just what our body needs to fight infection and help key organ systems. So, this subtle veggie seems deserving of some praise in my book.
Enjoy the rich flavors of Chinese broccoli, Chinese eggplant, and tofu in this delicious bowl. Serve them atop white or brown rice, and feel free to add a little siracha or hoisin sauce if you are needing a little more punch.
First off, start by steaming the Chinese broccoli (gai lan). Trim the ends off of gai lan junior, or peel the ends of regular gai lan in order to thin out the fibrous end and help it soften to a more chewable texture (this is similar to trimming the ends off asparagus to keep from eating too much woody/stock texture).
To steam this long, leafy vegetable, I often use a frying pan with just a half cup or so of water. Cover it with a lid and let it steam for about 10 minutes. This saves you the trouble of trying to stir-fry this very long vegetable.
Next, marinate the tofu in a bit of oyster and soy sauce. Then add to a frying pan with a little vegetable oil and sear on all sides to give it an all around tasty crunchy texture.
Soak the eggplant in some salt water to help extract the extra moisture. Make sure to rinse thoroughly though to keep from that extra salt making it into the stir-fry.
Sauté the garlic and green onions in a little canola/sesame oil. Add in the eggplant and stir until very soft. Add the sauce and cornstarch slurry before adding in the steamed gai lan to coat it in the sauce.
Serve vegetables and tofu over a bowl of brown rice!
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