Japanese Tofu & Eggplant Ginger Stir Fry | 豆腐の生姜焼き

Chewy tofu and creamy eggplant cooked in a sweet, umami ginger sauce. This tofu stir fry is based off of a classic Japanese dish called “shogayaki”.

This recipe is a plant-based twist on a Japanese dish called shogayaki, or ginger pork. Technically it can be made with any kind of protein, but pork is most common. It’s made with thin slices of pork cooked in a sweet and savory ginger sauce. It is a common dish in Japanese home cooking since it’s delicious and easy to prepare. My mom made this a lot when I was growing up, but since switching to a plant-based diet I haven’t eaten it in years! The other day I had a huge craving for the spicy, savory ginger flavor, so I recreated the dish with tofu and eggplant. And it’s so good!!

INGREDIENTS FOR TOFU & EGGPLANT GINGER STIR FRY

This Japanese ginger stir fry is made with 11 plant-based ingredients:

  • Firm Tofu
  • Eggplant ⟶ Japanese or Asian eggplants are best if you can find them. Globe eggplants work too, but they require additional prep work since their flesh isn’t as tender.
  • Ginger ⟶ make sure you peel the skin first!
  • Onion & Garlic
  • Cornstarch ⟶ acts as a “shield” between the eggplants and oil, so the eggplants don’t soak up as much oil
  • Soy Sauce, Sake, & Mirin ⟶ basic Japanese seasonings
    • GF: use tamari in place of soy sauce
  • Coconut Sugar ⟶ to cut the saltiness of the soy sauce and spice from the ginger
  • Green Onions ⟶ technically optional, but adds a touch of color

HOW TO MAKE TOFU & EGGPLANT GINGER STIR FRY

This vegan stir fry is simple & easy to make! It does take some time to make, but most of it is hands-off, no fancy techniques or equipment needed. Plus, it’s all made in one pan!

  1. Press tofu: Wrap tofu in a clean kitchen towel or paper towels. You want the tofu covered with a thick layer, so use multiple towels if needed. I used one large kitchen towel that folded over the tofu a couple times. Place tofu on a plate and balance a 1-2 lb object on top. Leave for 20-30 minutes to drain.
  1. Slice eggplant: For large globe eggplants, cut slices about ¾” thick, then cut each slice into quarters. For thin Japanese eggplants, just cut into slices.
  2. Salt eggplant: Place eggplant slices in a colander over the sink. Sprinkle with salt and let the eggplants sit for 20-30 minutes, during which time the eggplant slices should lose water and become softer. This will make it creamier and easier to eat.
  1. Pan fry tofu: Cut tofu into desired shape. Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a pan over medium heat. Add tofu and cook until golden brown and crisp on the bottom, then flip and fry the other side. I cut my tofu thin, so just frying the two large sides is enough to get that crispy texture in each bite. If you cut the tofu in cubes, I recommend frying each side of the tofu for the most crispy texture.
  1. Coat eggplant: Rinse eggplant slices and pat dry. Place in a bowl and add cornstarch, mixing until well coated.
  2. Pan fry eggplant: Heat 1 tbsp oil in the same pan used for the tofu. Add eggplant slices and cook until tender and browned. Remove from pan.
  1. Cook onion and garlic: Heat ½ tbsp oil in the same pan. Add onion and garlic and cook for a few minutes until onion is tender.
  2. Combine: Add in the tofu and eggplant. Pour the sauce over and stir to coat. Cook for another minute until all the liquid has evaporated. Top with green onions, stir, and remove from heat.

HOW TO SERVE TOFU GINGER STIR FRY

Since the stir fry itself is already very flavorful, I love serving it with simple plain steamed rice. It would probably also be good with some noodles mixed in!

I would also serve this with a veggie side dish to get a variety of nutrients. You can browse my side dishes here.

STILL HUNGRY?

Check out these other Japanese-inspired tofu dishes!

I hope I’ve inspired you to make this Japanese tofu & eggplant ginger stir fry! If you try it out, don’t forget to tag me in your photos on instagram @ellielikes.cooking, leave a comment/rating down below, and let me know how you liked it! I love seeing all of your tasty recreations 🙂 Happy cooking! ♡

Japanese Tofu & Eggplant Ginger Stir Fry | 豆腐の生姜焼き

Chewy tofu and creamy eggplant cooked in a sweet, umami ginger sauce. This tofu stir fry is based off of a classic Japanese dish called "shogayaki".
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Japanese
Servings: 3

Ingredients

  • 1 16oz block firm tofu
  • 1 globe eggplant or 2 small Japanese eggplants
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 2 ½ tbsp cooking oil (olive, canola, vegetable, etc)
  • ¼ onion thinly sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 2 inch knob of ginger grated (about 2 tbsp)
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce use tamari for gluten-free
  • 1 tbsp sake
  • 2 tbsp mirin
  • 1 tsp  coconut sugar
  • 2 green onions chopped

Instructions

  • Press tofu: Wrap tofu in a clean kitchen towel or paper towels. Place on a plate and place a 1-2 lb object on top*. Leave for 20-30 minutes.
  • Slice eggplant: For large globe eggplants, cut slices about ¾" thick, then cut each slice into quarters. For thin Japanese eggplants, just cut into slices.
  • Salt eggplant: Place eggplant slices in a colander over the sink. Sprinkle with salt and let the eggplants sit for 20-30 minutes, during which time the eggplant slices should lose water and become softer.
  • Mix sauce: In a small bowl, mix together grated ginger, soy sauce, sake, mirin, and sugar. Set aside.
  • Pan fry tofu: Cut tofu into desired shape. Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a pan over medium heat. Add tofu and cook until golden brown and crisp on the bottom, then flip and fry the other side. Remove from pan.
  • Prepare eggplant: Rinse eggplant slices and pat dry. Place in a bowl and add cornstarch, mixing until well coated.
  • Pan fry eggplant: Heat 1 tbsp oil in the same pan used for the tofu. Add eggplant slices and cook until crispy and browned on both sides. Remove from pan.
  • Cook onion and garlic: Heat ½ tbsp oil in the same pan. Add onion and garlic and cook for a few minutes until onion is tender.
  • Combine: Add in the tofu and eggplant. Pour the sauce over and stir to coat. Cook for another minute until all the liquid has evaporated. Top with green onions, stir, and remove from heat.

Notes

*Try a container of rice or beans, a plate with a heavy book on top, a container of protein powder, etc. Try to choose objects that are flat on the bottom so they don’t roll off.

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