|Put tofu pieces in a colander placed in the sink and let them drain at least 10 minutes. While tofu drains, cut eggplant into slightly-diagonal slices about 1 inch thick. Cut the peppers into thin strips, thinly slice the green onion, and wash basil leaves. Mix sauce ingredients.
When the tofu has drained, put a double layer of paper towels on a cutting board, lay the tofu pieces on the paper towel, and put another double layer of paper towels on top of the tofu. Press down with the palm of your hand to press water out of the tofu so it’s absorbed by the towels. Discard towels and cut tofu into squares slightly over 1 inch square. (Don’t make them too small.)
Heat the dry wok over high heat for about one minute, add 2 tablespoons of the oil and heat one minutes more, then add the garlic cloves and cook just until they are fragrant, about 30-45 seconds. (Don’t let the garlic brown.) Remove garlic and discard. This is called “seasoning the oil.”
Add the tofu cubes, laying each on one of the larger sides so the tofu is in a single layer. Cook over medium-high heat, turning often, until the tofu is well-browned on all sides. (Pay close attention to keep the tofu turned so it doesn’t burn. We use a pair of long-handled tongs for this.) Remove browned tofu to a plate while you cook the vegetables.
Add the other tablespoon of oil and heat for about a minute, then add the eggplant slices and stir-fry about 4 minutes, or just until the eggplant is just starting to soften and brown. Add pepper strips and stir-fry about 2 minutes more. Add the browned tofu pieces back into the wok and cook for 1 minute to be sure the tofu is hot.
Add the sauce to the wok and cook the mixture for 2-3 minutes, stirring often so all the pieces of tofu and the vegetables get well-glazed with the sauce. Add the sliced green onions and basil and cook about 1 minute more. Serve hot.
This will keep overnight in the fridge and can be reheated in the microwave, but it’s best when it’s freshly made.