Vegan (!) Spicey Tofu with Chinese Eggplant

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J a y H a c k
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Vegan (!) Spicey Tofu with Chinese Eggplant

#1 Post by J a y H a c k » April 21st, 2019, 5:48 pm

My daughter in law wanted some home style food so I whipped this together as a side dish for Standing Rib Roast, baked potatoes and broccoli.


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Yes, that's a DM of 1978 Mouton!

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Re: Vegan (!) Spicey Tofu with Chinese Eggplant

#2 Post by AlexS » April 21st, 2019, 6:14 pm

Side dish?!? More like a main!

That said, looks absolutely delicious.
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Re: Vegan (!) Spicey Tofu with Chinese Eggplant

#3 Post by J a y H a c k » April 22nd, 2019, 9:27 am

AlexS wrote:
April 21st, 2019, 6:14 pm
Side dish?!? More like a main!

That said, looks absolutely delicious.
It's not a main when you have a house full of meat eaters devouring a standing rib roast. The taste was excellent. I used a combination of techniques. Quick deep fry the eggplant in wok for less than one minute, then remove with skimmer and immediately toss into a bowl of ice water, which stops the cooking and allows most of the oil to float out. Pour off the oil from the wok, which leaves just enough in the wok to fry the fresh ginger, garlic, Pixian fermented black bean paste and yellow peppers for a minute. Mix up sauce during that minute. Toss the eggplant back in, add tofu, toss fast, add sauce mix, toss, remove from stove. The whole thing takes well under under 10 minutes.

It actually looked much better in the original photo, but the format was so huge with the Nikon d850 that I had trouble shrinking it to use as a WB image. I followed the Mel Hill approach - take it outside and photograph in natural light.
Yes, that's a DM of 1978 Mouton!

You can read my Financial Institutions Law Blog at https://www.gdblaw.com/blog?practiceID=4985.

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Re: Vegan (!) Spicey Tofu with Chinese Eggplant

#4 Post by scamhi » April 22nd, 2019, 10:12 am

Jay,

How does throwing hot fried eggplant into water remove oil?
I am interested in the science here because we know oil and water are not soluble.
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Re: Vegan (!) Spicey Tofu with Chinese Eggplant

#5 Post by CJ Beazley » April 22nd, 2019, 12:16 pm

scamhi wrote:
April 22nd, 2019, 10:12 am
Jay,

How does throwing hot fried eggplant into water remove oil?
I am interested in the science here because we know oil and water are not soluble.
I was wondering if the oil floated to the surface while the eggplant sank allowing you to *sloosh the oil to one side of the bowl while retrieving the eggplant
*my word...rhymes with swoosh
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Re: Vegan (!) Spicey Tofu with Chinese Eggplant

#6 Post by scamhi » April 22nd, 2019, 12:25 pm

CJ Beazley wrote:
April 22nd, 2019, 12:16 pm
scamhi wrote:
April 22nd, 2019, 10:12 am
Jay,

How does throwing hot fried eggplant into water remove oil?
I am interested in the science here because we know oil and water are not soluble.
I was wondering if the oil floated to the surface while the eggplant sank allowing you to *sloosh the oil to one side of the bowl while retrieving the eggplant
*my word...rhymes with swoosh
the oil in fried eggplant is absorbed down to the cellular level. Oil floats on water, I don't understand how the water can displace the absorbed oil. How much oil was left in the water after it's dip, Jay?
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Re: Vegan (!) Spicey Tofu with Chinese Eggplant

#7 Post by J a y H a c k » April 22nd, 2019, 6:32 pm

scamhi wrote:
April 22nd, 2019, 10:12 am
Jay,

How does throwing hot fried eggplant into water remove oil?
I am interested in the science here because we know oil and water are not soluble.
That is precisely how it works. If the oil is hot enough when you fry it, and you do it quickly, the oil stays mostly on the surface of the eggplant and when you toss it in the water, the oil detaches from the eggplant and floats to the top. It works even better when you just cross cut the eggplant and do not quarter it, so it is almost all covered with peel. That really keeps the oil out, but I was experimenting based upon a different chef's suggestion. I did not measure the oil, but there was plenty floating on the water and there was no oily taste or flavor.
Yes, that's a DM of 1978 Mouton!

You can read my Financial Institutions Law Blog at https://www.gdblaw.com/blog?practiceID=4985.

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Re: Vegan (!) Spicey Tofu with Chinese Eggplant

#8 Post by scamhi » April 22nd, 2019, 6:55 pm

fake news. how does the oil not go into the flesh of the cut sides of the eggplant
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Re: Vegan (!) Spicey Tofu with Chinese Eggplant

#9 Post by CJ Beazley » April 23rd, 2019, 6:44 am

scamhi wrote:
April 22nd, 2019, 6:55 pm
fake news. how does the oil not go into the flesh of the cut sides of the eggplant
I think Alton Brown discusses this in a Good Eats episode, but I can’t remember the science of it. I’d like to add that I love things fried in oil-just saying.
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Re: Vegan (!) Spicey Tofu with Chinese Eggplant

#10 Post by J a y H a c k » April 23rd, 2019, 7:59 am

scamhi wrote:
April 22nd, 2019, 6:55 pm
fake news. how does the oil not go into the flesh of the cut sides of the eggplant
Because the hot oil - I preheated it to 380 degrees - sears and seals the outside edge. Next time I'll measure the oil loss for scientific purposes.
Yes, that's a DM of 1978 Mouton!

You can read my Financial Institutions Law Blog at https://www.gdblaw.com/blog?practiceID=4985.

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Re: Vegan (!) Spicey Tofu with Chinese Eggplant

#11 Post by J a y H a c k » April 23rd, 2019, 8:07 am

scamhi wrote:
April 22nd, 2019, 6:55 pm
fake news. how does the oil not go into the flesh of the cut sides of the eggplant
some of it goes in, but when you put the eggplant in the water, most of it floats back out.
Yes, that's a DM of 1978 Mouton!

You can read my Financial Institutions Law Blog at https://www.gdblaw.com/blog?practiceID=4985.

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Re: Vegan (!) Spicey Tofu with Chinese Eggplant

#12 Post by Jay Miller » April 24th, 2019, 10:37 am

J a y H a c k wrote:
April 23rd, 2019, 7:59 am
scamhi wrote:
April 22nd, 2019, 6:55 pm
fake news. how does the oil not go into the flesh of the cut sides of the eggplant
Because the hot oil - I preheated it to 380 degrees - sears and seals the outside edge. Next time I'll measure the oil loss for scientific purposes.
Commonly believed but untrue:

https://www.seriouseats.com/2011/02/the ... mesan.html

"I fried two batches of eggplant slices in oil at 375°F and at 300°F, weighing the amount of oil in the pan before frying and at the end in order to gauge how much was absorbed by the eggplant. The eggplant cooked in hot oil absorbed about 14% more, even though their total cooking time was significantly shorter (I cooked both to the same shade of golden brown). Given identical cooking times (by which time the hot oil version was overcooked), it ended up absorbing nearly 20% more oil. Why is this?

You see, once the eggplant has been purged of air, there's really not much free space left either inside the eggplant itself, nor in the breading. In order for it to absorb any oil, space must first be freed up. Where does that space come from?

The hotter the temperature, the more evaporation occurs, and the more space is left for oil to seep in.

Evaporating water. As water converts to steam and bubbles out of the eggplant, oil seeps in to take its place. The hotter the temperature, the more evaporation occurs, and the more space is left for oil to seep in. It is true that the force of the vapor leaving the food can keep some of the oil out, but the instant you remove the food from the hot pot, that pressure immediately drops and oil on the surface of the food quickly gets sucked into the air spaces within it.

In fact, about 70% of oil absorption in fried foods occurs right after you pull it out of the fryer (one of the reasons its essential to blot excess oil from fried foods as soon as it comes out)

So does this mean you should fry foods at a lower temperature? Absolutely not. Here's the interesting thing: even though food fried at a higher temperature has more grease in it, it actually tastes less greasy. That's because the feeling of greasiness in the mouth has less to do with the actual amount of grease on the food, and more to do with the combination of grease and liquid. Greasy is the feeling of soggy food with oil on it."


However that 2nd to last paragraph gives us a clue as to why the water soak might work. The question would be whether it is more effective than blotting.
Ripe fruit isn't necessarily a flaw.

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Re: Vegan (!) Spicey Tofu with Chinese Eggplant

#13 Post by scamhi » April 24th, 2019, 10:49 am

Good science, Jay. I still don't believe that the oil is purged from the eggplant using water
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Re: Vegan (!) Spicey Tofu with Chinese Eggplant

#14 Post by Jay Miller » April 24th, 2019, 10:59 am

scamhi wrote:
April 24th, 2019, 10:49 am
Good science, Jay. I still don't believe that the oil is purged from the eggplant using water
It won't be purged from the eggplant but since most of the oil absorbtion happens after the eggplant is removed the question is whether it will separate from the surface. I have no idea on whether the answer is yes and, if so, whether it is more effective than blotting.
Ripe fruit isn't necessarily a flaw.

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Re: Vegan (!) Spicey Tofu with Chinese Eggplant

#15 Post by J a y H a c k » April 28th, 2019, 2:22 pm

Jay Miller wrote:
April 24th, 2019, 10:37 am
. . .
In fact, about 70% of oil absorption in fried foods occurs right after you pull it out of the fryer (one of the reasons its essential to blot excess oil from fried foods as soon as it comes out)

. . .

However that 2nd to last paragraph gives us a clue as to why the water soak might work. The question would be whether it is more effective than blotting.
Interesting. I tossed it immediately into ice water that was sitting on the stove in a bowl. This has got to be better than blotting because blotting doesn't replace the oil with anything, while tossing in ice water not only stops the cooking but allows the oil to float and be replaced by water. Then I just drained the water for a few minutes while preparing the rest of the dish.
Yes, that's a DM of 1978 Mouton!

You can read my Financial Institutions Law Blog at https://www.gdblaw.com/blog?practiceID=4985.

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