2 tablespoons oil (I use olive oil, but I think corn oil is more traditional in Chinese cooking)
1 onion, diced
2-3 cloves garlic, chopped
2-4 small/medium Japanese eggplants, diced
1 hot pepper, sliced in two
1 stalk celery
8 oz. baked tofu, preferably Asian-style
2 tablespoons soy sauce or Bragg's
2 teaspoons black bean sauce
1 teaspoon agave nectar or other sweetener (you can use a simple syrup)
1/2 teaspoon minced or sliced fresh ginger
1 medium head Napa cabbage, shredded
black sesame seeds
Prepare your veggies as directed. I like to julienne the carrot and celery in fine matchsticks. Either crumble the tofu or cut it into small chunks.
Heat the oil in a large flat skillet or wok over medium heat. Add the garlic and onion and saute until translucent. Add the eggplant and hot pepper and cook until everything is almost tender.
Add the celery and carrot and keep cooking. After about 2 more minutes (or immediately if anything starts to burn), add the tofu, soy sauce, black bean sauce, agave nectar, and ginger. Scrape the pan with a silicone spatula or wooden spoon to make sure nothing is sticking. Add the cabbage and cook briefly, UNCOVERED, until crisp-tender. Add a couple teaspoons of sesame seeds and toss to combine.
You can serve this over rice or soba noodles, whatever you like. Try not to serve up the pepper halves unless you really like it spicy!