December 17, 2017

Japanese Eggplant, Basil and Peanut Stir-Fry on Kalbi Tofu Steak

Originally, this dish was just the Japapnese eggplant, basil and peanut stir-fry.  For a special occassion, my mom needed a vegetarian entree for a family friend who was coming over for dinner.  We aren’t vegetarians at our home, so coming up with a vegetarian main course required us to think outside of our culinary box.

It was a fun challenged and we were quite happy with the result.


  • Japanese eggplant
  • Basil
  • Soy sauce
  • Unsalted peanuts
  • Shallots
  • Garlic
  • Shishito peppers
  • Peanut oil
  • Sesame oil


The Eggplant

  • Skin most of the eggplant because the skin can be a little bit tough 
  • Thinly slice the eggplant and sautee it with some garlic in the peanut oil
  • Add a dash of water to help steam the eggplant when it looks like all of the peanut oil has been absorbed.
  • Season with a little bit of salt.  Be sure it’s just a little bit because we will be adding the soy sauce later.


Stir-fry Sauce, Basil and Peanuts

  • Crush or grind the peanuts and put them aside.
  • Clean the basil and put it aside.
  • Combine soy sauce, thin sliced shallots and thin sliced shishito peppers
  • When the eggplant are finished cooking add this mixture, the crushed peanuts and basil.
  • Toss until the basil is wilted and remove from the wok.

Kalbi Marinade For Tofu Steak

  • 1 c soy sauce
  • 1/2 tbspn sesame oil
  • 2 1/2 tbspn fresh minced garlic
  •  2 1/2 tbspn fresh minced ginger
  • 1/3 c chopped green onions
  •  1/2 c sugar

Mix the ingredients in a sturdy, sealable plastic bag.

The Tofu

Use the firm tofu since we’ll be grilling it after it’s been marinated.  First, pre-heat the bbq, then cut up the tofu.  For this recipe, I cut the tofu into 2 in x 3 in rectangles, that were about 1/2 cm thick.  Let them marinade in for at least an hour.

We want the bbq hot so it leaves grill marks on the tofu.  A nice criss-cross will get lots of good char on the outside for a better flavor.  After we have our criss-cross marks on the tofu, we’re ready to serve.

Place the eggplant, basil and peanut stir-fry on top of the kalbi tofu steak and garnish it with a basil leaf.

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