I’ve been making this simple Sweet & Sour sauce recipe for a years: I found a recipe online before we had food blogs, printed it out, and used the same crumpled piece of paper for years to make this classic recipe. I’ve simplified it even more over the years, and today I’m sharing a new version of the recipe in my Oahu Fresh cooking video. Our featured veggie this week is eggplant, and this turned out to be a GREAT way to highlight the eggplant and make a yummy weeknight meal.
When I was teaching cooking classes years ago, I got lots of requests for eggplant recipe – something about this simple veggie resonates with a lot of folks, likely because it’s found in rich, comfort foods the world over. It also grows everywhere here in Hawaii, so it’s abundant and often really affordable. Want more eggplant inspo? We featured this veggie in April in a Thai-style Green Curry with Eggplant (watch the Oahu Fresh how-to video here).
The ingredients in this sweet and sour sauce are orange juice, apple cider vinegar, soy sauce, coconut sugar, and just a bit of potato starch to thicken the sauce into a glossy sauce that coats the veggies perfectly. For even more flavor, you can stir in fresh grated ginger, fresh or dried chilies, minced garlic, sesame seeds, or anything else to make it your own.
Sweet & Sour Eggplant with Tofu
3 Tablespoons high-heat oil, like avocado or peanut oil (more as needed)
½ cup thinly sliced onions
2-4 cloves garlic, minced
3 cups chopped eggplant
10-ounces of super firm tofu, crumbled or cubed
1 cup orange juice
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
¼ cup soy sauce, tamari, or Bragg’s Liquid Aminos
¼ cup coconut sugar or brown sugar
1 Tablespoon potato starch, cornstarch, or arrowroot (for a thicker sauce use 2 Tablespoons)
3-4 cups thinly sliced cabbage
Green onion, cilantro, and/or sesame seeds as garnish
- In a large skillet heat oil over medium heat, then add onions and garlic, and cook until just soft.
- Add in eggplant, tossing to coat in the oil – the eggplant will absorb a lot of oil, so keep watch on the pan.
- Cook the eggplant until just soft, then add tofu – add more oil if it seems that eggplant and tofu are sticking.
- Meanwhile, in a small bowl whisk together orange juice, apple cider vinegar, soy sauce, coconut sugar, and starch until any clumps dissolve.
- In a separate skillet or saucepan, heat sauce mixture to skillet over medium-low heat. Stir continuously until it thickens slightly. Once it thickens, remove from the heat.
- Once tofu is warmed through, add chopped cabbage and cook until just soft.
- Add cooked sauce into the eggplant and tofu mixture, and toss to coat. Remove from heat and serve!
- Serve this Sweet & Sour Eggplant with coconut rice, noodles, mu shu wraps for an awesome protein rich meal!
Note: If you’re not going to eat this whole recipe in one sitting, I recommend keeping the sauce separate, as the acid (vinegar + orange juice) in the sauce will discolor the greens and break them down, making for less appetizing leftovers.
Yield: 2-4 Servings
I have another version of this recipe that uses tempeh, and it’s a great way to get started with this cool soy food: see the Sweet & Sour Tempeh Recipe here.