Japanese eggplant and tofu with the flavors of soy, sesame & ginger

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2 Tbsp. canola oil
2 lbs. Japanese eggplant, stem and bottom removed, cut in 1-1/4 inch pieces
To taste kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 recipe Asian sauce (recipe follows)
1 package firm tofu, cut into ½ inch cubes
½ tsp. pure sesame oil
4 ea. green onions, sliced
¼ cup cilantro leaves
As needed Jasmine rice

1. Heat a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the oil and swirl to coat. Lay the eggplant in the pan in one layer, season and cook until browned and tender.
2. Add the sauce and tofu, lower heat and simmer a minute or two until tofu is heated through. Add the sesame oil and give the pan one last toss. Transfer to a platter and sprinkle with the green onions and cilantro. Serve with steamed rice. 

Asian Sauce
Yield: Approx. 1 cup

¼ cup soy sauce
¼ cup murin
¼ cup water
2 Tbsp. rice wine vinegar
½ Tbsp. brown sugar
2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
1 tsp. ginger, peeled and chopped
As needed cornstarch

1. Combine all ingredients except cornstarch in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer 2-3 minutes.
2. Dissolve cornstarch in a little cold water and whisk in as needed to thicken the sauce.

Yield: 4 Servings