JAPANESE STIRFRY

Stir fry was on the weekly rotation in my house growing up. I remember my mom had an electric wok that she would always pull out for the occasion. It was a beef based stir-fry with a thick flavourful brown sauce, made with simple ingredients and a few vegetables. I'm sure I disliked it back then but I think of it often, and looking back on it I crave those dishes that I once loathed...funny how that works. Shout out to my mom for always having a well-balanced meal on the table for four ungrateful little mouths to feed!

I was lucky enough to find ALL of this beautiful veg (and the tofu of course) at The Local Source here in Halifax. The eggplant wasn't Japanese specifically, but it got the job done. 

I put kimchi on everything from my eggs to my peanut butter sandwiches. So I obviously added it to an Asian stir-fry. Although it's a totally different flavour and ethnic origin, it made for a great garnish. 
There's SO many great kimchi's coming out of Halifax right now, I love them all. Cabbage Patch Kimchi, Local Source makes a great one, Sour Beast Kimchi by Off Beet Farm, Zoe's Kimchi. They are all a little different but all amazing in their own way. 

Simple ingredients and methods always make for the best meals. This dish is bursting with flavour and really highlights these traditional Japanese ingredients. Hope you enjoy!

Japanese Stir-fry
Serves 2

Miso-Sesame Sauce
1/4 cup miso
3 tbsp water
2tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp mirin
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp minced ginger
1 garlic clove minced
1/4 tsp red chile flakes

Stir-fry
2 small Japanese Eggplants
8 oz. shiitake mushrooms
4 oz snow peas
1 x recipe baked tofu (see below)
4 heads of baby bok choy
1 bunch scallions
2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 tsp sesame seeds toasted
cooked brown rice or other favourite grain/noodle

Whisk together all your sauce ingredients in a bowl and set aside. If you want a really smooth sauce then blend it up!
Get your tofu in the oven (recipe below).
Cut eggplant in half lengthwise and make diagonal half moon slices about 1/4" wide. Stem Shiitakes and cut thick slices. String the snow peas and separate the leaves of the baby bok choy. Slice the larger leaves in half lengthwise. Slice Scallions into 1-inch lengths.

Heat a wok over medium high heat. Add the eggplant and shiitakes and stir-fry until tender. Add some water (or a splash of sake if you have it) to prevent from sticking to the wok. Add snow peas and tofu and cook for 2 minutes. Add bok choy, scallions and enough sauce to coat the veggies liberally. Cover and simmer just long enough to wilt bok choy. Serve hot over brown rice or noodle and sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds for garnish. Kimchi- optional.

Baked Tofu
1 block firm tofu
1 tbsp sesame oil
2 tbsp soy sauce
1/4 tsp cracked pepper

Cut tofu into 1/2" cubes. Toss with remaining ingredients, spread on an oiled baking sheet and bake at 350 for 15 minutes.