Eggplant and Tofu in Spicy Garlic Sauce

by on August 17, 2006
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Eggplant and Tofu in Spicy Garlic Sauce
I know some of you are probably tired of seeing eggplant here. Eggplant recipes appear on this blog so often that I could probably change the name to FatFree Eggplant Recipes. But there’s a reason for that: I love eggplant! I think it’s one of the most versatile vegetables around. If you’ve been avoiding it because you’re afraid you won’t like it, I think it’s time you gave it a try. And this is the recipe you should try. It’s so good that even eggplant haters (like my daughter) like it.

If you’re eggplant-phobic, do as I did and find some smaller, light purple or white eggplants, like the ones in the photo on this page. They are usually denser, less spongy, and less bitter than the larger eggplants. In this recipe, they are peeled, which makes the texture more appealing to eggplant virgins, but you can also use Japanese eggplants with the skin on. They get soft rather than chewy, so be prepared for that before you chow down. Take a moment to savor the aroma of garlic, ginger, and sesame and then dig in. You will not fear eggplant anymore!

Eggplant and Tofu with Spicy Garlic Sauce

Want to check out the other eggplant recipes on this blog? There’s a whole section of them!

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{ 27 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Rachael January 11, 2010 at 5:10 pm

Needed something to make with eggplant and tofu and not much else. Had no tomato paste, and used some good thick sesame teriyaki instead of hoisin… and threw in some asparagus towards the end, cause it needed to be used today. Verdict: sooooo good. Thanks!


2 eatingtolivehealthy January 16, 2010 at 8:29 pm

Fantastic recipe! Didn't change a thing and it was delicious – love your blog!


3 johnnycee888 February 26, 2010 at 7:09 pm

Thanks, I'm going to try this tonight.
I Cr 13:8a


4 Dyan June 12, 2010 at 10:17 pm

Ooh, i’ve been singing this one’s praises for years. Like Rachael, i often find myself with an eggplant to use up and not much else, so this is probably the FFV recipe i make most often. Relatively simple to make and tastes great!


5 Laurie September 27, 2010 at 10:13 am

Hi Susan! I know this is an old recipe, but just yesterday I modified the sauce and served it with cabbage “noodles” (to cut out some cals) and it turned out great! A good reason to revisit a awesome recipe! Thanks! You can see my new version here:


6 CuBuwu November 17, 2012 at 9:32 am

The link doesn’t work ๐Ÿ™


7 Riss October 20, 2010 at 5:00 pm

I know this is an older post, but I’ve had it printed out and tucked away in my recipe book for about 2 years now! A few weeks ago I re-organized my recipes and moved this one in to the “must try soon” category. And I am so glad that I did! I added some zucchini and yellow squash to the mix and ate it over spaghetti squash instead of rice, but the flavors were fabulous! Many thanks.


8 Miriam October 27, 2010 at 5:52 pm

I didn’t have eggplant, but I did have the last zucchini of the season. I pretty much followed the recipe — swapping out the zukes for the eggplant and serving the chili-garlic sauce on the side — it was still delicious (even for all members of my somewhat picky family!).


9 Fiona December 4, 2010 at 12:44 am

Has anyone tried the garlic eggplant dish from Panda Express and do they think this recipe tastes the same? I absolutely love the garlic eggplant dish from Panda Express but rarely eat it because I am sure it is probably plagued with a lot of things that aren’t very good for me. I would love to be able to make something similar at home that is healthier. I suppose if no one responds, I will just have to try it and let everyone know!


10 Gayathri January 26, 2011 at 9:44 am

I made this last night as I had a big eggplant in my fridge that I really wanted to use. I used Mushroom based stir fry sauce instead of hoisin sauce just cause thats all I had. I also topped it with spring onions (green part) instead of sesame seeds. The dish was YUM!! Can’t wait to eat leftovers tonight! Thank you Susan for giving us yet another amazing recipe!


11 Kim B February 7, 2011 at 9:56 pm

This was our supper tonight. It was awesome. My first time working with (and eating, to my knowledge) hoisin sauce. ๐Ÿ™‚


12 Kim B February 7, 2011 at 10:00 pm

Just noticed Gayathri’s comment: that’s funny, I also topped ours with green onion, though I didn’t omit the sesame seeds. Having both as a garnish made for a very attractive dish. Which reminds me of something else: my version of this dish didn’t look at all like the one in Susan’s pic. It was more brown than red, except for the red from the tomatoes. It looked (as well as tasted and smelled) awesome, it just wasn’t what I was expecting it to look like based on her photo.


13 Christine April 11, 2011 at 9:21 pm

I made this tonight since I had an eggplant that needed to be used, and it was great! My first foray into using hoisin, and I used garlic chili sauce because I love garlic. It was a great meal with some brown rice. I also love that your recipes don’t make obscene amounts of food, since I am usually just cooking for myself – I like some leftovers (I think I have enough for 1 or 2 more meals from this recipe – I nibbled a lot while waiting for the rice to cook!), but I don’t want to be eating one thing for weeks ๐Ÿ™‚


14 Diane April 17, 2011 at 10:53 am

Thank you for this one – it is one of my favorites. If I can get them, I love it with the Japanese eggplant as their skin is never bitter or tough. Like others I have topped with green onion – or whatever green herb I have available (basil, chive, culantro) and like the green finish. An additional tomato makes more sauce which is nice.


15 Elizabeth May 9, 2011 at 9:39 pm

I was looking for a recipe using eggplant and tofu and found this tonight. It was fantastic!! One of the tastiest things I’ve made in a while–the combo of sauces is just right. Thanks!!


16 Esther J June 3, 2012 at 9:53 pm

Great recipe. Just the right spice balance.

Used teriyaki sauce, instead of hoisin (I live in the sticks and couldn’t find the hoisin.).

I also added a coarsely chopped red pepper and green onion at the end.




17 Rebecca July 20, 2012 at 7:35 pm

My husband thinks I’m brilliant after he ate this dish that I cooked up. It was relatively easy, too! Thank you so much for this recipe and all the others! Four thumbs up!! ๐Ÿ™‚


18 ben August 12, 2013 at 6:45 pm

It’d help if you clarified in step 4 what “all remaining ingredients ” were


19 moonwatcher August 18, 2013 at 3:31 pm

This sounds really good, Susan!! And I laughed out loud about changing the blog to Fat Free Eggplant Recipes!! Thing is, I love eggplant, too, and all your recipes for it are awesome! I am going to try a version with zucchini and eggplant, since I have one of each from the Farmer’s Market. I’ll half the ingredients and treat the zucchini like the eggplant, only maybe adding it a little later on just before the ginger. Thank you for the inspiriation!! The photo is lovely. I so like the bright red food on the blue dish. ๐Ÿ™‚




20 Stephanie Watson August 18, 2013 at 5:25 pm

Is the eggplant mushy at the end? That’s the one issue I have with most eggplant dishes. I can’t stand the mushy texture but I am fine with the flavor.


21 Susan Voisin August 18, 2013 at 5:39 pm

It does get pretty soft, so it may not be to your taste.


22 Holly June 11, 2014 at 7:34 pm

I just want to say thank you for this delicious eggplant and tofu recipe. It reminds me of Szechuan eggplant. I substituted red pepper paste for the tomato paste. It’s very tasty. I only wish I could expand the palate of my husband and children so that they could enjoy it too! Thanks again. I will check out your other recipes.


23 Jill September 2, 2014 at 12:35 am

I didn’t have any tofu but used broccoli instead, and this recipe is such a winner! My market had both the Japanese purples and the tiny white eggplants. I will definitely be making the sauce again soon for my stir-fries – wow! I love your spicy recipes.

P.S. The Seitan Ribz were again a big hit at a gathering I had Friday night. I doubled the recipe this time and it still all disappeared! ๐Ÿ™ Next time maybe I’ll triple. :p


24 Katherine December 7, 2014 at 11:42 pm

I make this frequently. I don’t change a thing because it’s flawless just like this. I love it!


25 Meredith August 8, 2015 at 5:01 pm

I have been getting so many eggplant in my CSA this year that I finally tried this recipe. Twice. The second time i omitted the tomato paste and thought it was much better. Both delicious. With Japanese eggplant, I did not peel them, but the first time was Italian and I did.


26 Jill August 14, 2015 at 11:17 pm

This recipe is so good. I have to double it when my friends come over because everybody wants seconds. I didn’t have the tomato tonight and only had one box of tofu so I added some celery and carrots for crunchy and to increase the servings. ๐Ÿ™‚

I could eat this every day! Served over jasmine brown rice with steamed broccoli and cantaloupe slices.


27 Rachael August 7, 2016 at 8:21 pm

Made this tonight for the first time. Won’t be the last! Only had a few small eggplants so added in squash and zucchini. Didn’t have chopped tomato either. This was soooo good. Can’t wait for lunch tomorrow to eat the leftovers!


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