Easy Baked Tofu and Miso-Glazed Eggplant (fit for a Buddhist meal!)

So, last night was the first time I started using “Simple Suppers” (one of Moosewood Restaurant’s cookbook).  I decided to make “Baked Tofu” and “Miso-Glazed Eggplant”.  
IMG_9968 IMG_9969
I added in my own rice (cooked with red wild rice, white rice, steel cut oats, millets, barley, sweet brown rice, brown rice and azuki beans),  and shiitake mushrooms. 
After I cooked the foods, I realized that this is fit for a Buddhist meal! It was very savory and surprisingly satisfying.  We especially loved the tofu and shiitake.  The eggplants were good but next time I will put less miso glazing. 

Easy Baked TofuServes 4
1 firm tofu (about 16 ounces)
Basic Marinade:
1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
1 Tablespoon dark sesame oil
3 Tablespoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons grated peeled ginger (optional)
1 garlic clove, pressed (optional)

Preheat oven to 400F.  Cut the tofu into slices, cubes, triangles, or sticks.  Lightly oil a baking dish large enough to hold the tofu in a single layer.  Whisk together the marinade ingredients and drizzle over the tofu.  Gently turn or toss to coat thoroughly.  Bake uncovered, stirring once or twice, until the oil is sizzling and the tofu is firm and chewy, 30-40minutes.  Serve hot, at room temperature, or chilled. 

My opinion:  even though the ginger and garlic are optional, I highly recommend adding them to the marinade.  They give wonderful aroma as the tofu bakes in the oven (plus they have great medicinal qualities!)

Miso-Glazed Eggplant – serves 6
2 Tablespoons sherry (I used Japanese cooking wine)
1 Tablespoon soy sauce
1 Tablespoon peanut oil or vegetable oil

3 small thin eggplants (Asian eggplants), 5-6 inches long (about 1-1/4 pounds)

1 Tablespoon sugar
1 Tablespoon rice vinegar or cider vinegar
1/4 cup light miso (or white miso)

1 Tablespoon sesame seeds

Preheat the oven to 400F.  Whisk together the marinade ingredients.
Cut the eggplants in half lengthwise, leaving the stems on.  Using a sharp paring knife, score the flesh of each half in a crosshatch pattern, taking care not to puncture the skin.  Place cut-side up on an oiled baking pan.  Drizzle marinade over the eggplant halves.  Cover with foil and bake until tender to the touch, 15-20 minutes. 
Meanwhile, to prepare the glaze, stir the sugar and vinegar into the miso. 
When the eggplant halves are tender, remove them from the oven, spread generously with the glaze, and sprinkle on the sesame seeds.  Return them to the oven and bake, uncovered, for about 5 minutes more.  Serve hot, or at room temperature. 

My opinion:  Using the same marinade I  drizzled some on to shiitake mushrooms.  Gave such  flavorful taste  I will make this again.  As for the eggplant, as mentioned previously, I think I will not be generous with the miso glaze next time, I think the miso glaze overtook the flavor.


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