Sunday, September 14, 2008

General Tso's Eggplant

You all know General Tso's. I believe that this dish (primarily, the spicy sweet sauce) is not actually Chinese. I think it's about as Chinese as chop suey, if you get my drift. In fact, I know it is, because my dad (who cooks in Chinese restaurants) tells me that it's probably named after some dude who created the sauce by accident, and people ended up liking it a lot.

And the sauce has a LOT of sugar, if you didn't already guess that. But it probably contains even more than you think.

Despite all that, I really like the sauce. I do. It's probably all the sugar.

I made this recipe because I like the General Tso's taste. But all I've got is a rice cooker. So while I cooked some rice, I steamed all the vegetables in the steamer tray and tossed them in the sauce. (Don't microwave vegetables, even in a steamer bag. Microwaves zap out the nutrients, which defeats the whole purpose of eating fresh vegetables, doesn't it?) I microwaved the sauce, though, because there aren't that many nutrients in the sauce to begin with...

Cutting up the broccoli head:

Steaming the broccoli:

I had to do it separately, since my steamer basket is too small to handle too many vegetables. :( After the broccoli cooked, I set it aside in a bowl.

Cutting the eggplant:

Steaming the eggplant:

While the eggplant and the rice finished up cooking, I made the sauce.

Mincing the ginger and garlic for the sauce (I use the "attack it until it looks small enough" approach):

Whisking together all the sauce ingredients:

Since the sauce has cornstarch, all you have to do is get the mixture to the right temperature (around the boiling point) to get the sauce to thicken. I microwaved the mix (in a bowl, covered with plastic) for about 2 minutes. I popped it out, gave it a stir, and microwaved it again for another 2 minutes.

At the end, the sauce should turn sorta translucent, and it'll look like this:

Scoop out the eggplant, toss the vegetables in the sauce, and serve with rice. (I like the short grain brown rice.) Yaaay.

Admittedly, the sauce doesn't stick that well to eggplant, because it's... slick. It would work better if the eggplant had been breaded and fried, but I don't have the convenience of a stove. :( Regardless, the taste is all there. What more can you ask for, really?

I wrote up the recipe here. Put the sauce on whatever you like -- I particularly enjoy it on tofu.


wordsplace said...
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Anonymous said...

Whoops! meant to post that under my wordpress account...anyway:

Hi! Just did a google search for "General Tso's eggplant" and can see that someone else had this great idea :) Will try for sure! What I really want to do is General Tso's mushrooms... I love to find recipes like yours that have been veganized!