So how about them Patriots?!?!?
As we all celebrate our New England victory under a foot or so of snow, my family is celebrating Meatless Monday with Springdell Farm bok choy, garlic, and vegetable broth.
This a recipe that I’ve been making in various forms since first getting inspired by a version in Real Simple magazine back in 2004. The version I make today pulls back on some of the less healthy ingredients, allowing the flavor from the farm fresh ingredients is allowed to shine through.
Because I use a wok to stir-fry the bok choy, I prep all the ingredients ahead of time, as once that flame goes on, there’s little time for dilly-dally. This is especially true if you are cooking up tofu at the same time.
It’s a fast and furious recipe, the prep time is what takes the longest.
The original recipe calls for addition of corn starch and a reduction of broth. I leave out the corn starch entirely and add very little broth (about 2 tbsp) just to help with tenderizing the bok choy a little.
I find the trick to a good fried tofu texture is to be sure to remove as much water as you can. Usually this is done by letting the tofu sit on paper towels for some time. As I make tofu quite a bit, the amount of paper towels I was using was obscene. Instead, I now have 2 cloth towels that I devote to draining tofu. While wringing out one, I dry the tofu on the other one, and go back and forth until there’s very little moisture coming from the tofu. (On a day I know I’m going to make tofu, in the morning I’ll slice the tofu and sandwich it in the towel on a plate in the fridge. That way, if I don’t get to it until the end of the day, I can be pretty sure it’s had a chance to drain well).
The result of well-drained tofu is a satisfying texture. This tofu you see here sits on a bed of jasmine rice with the garlicky and scrumptious bok choy. The recipe makes 4 servings, but my other half and I usually devour all four servings in one sitting. The beauty of keeping the sodium levels in check is that there is no guilt in seconds. I hope you enjoy this variation!
- 1 package of tofu (I used extra firm) cut into 8 1/2 inch thick slices
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 3 heads of bok choy
- 6 garlic cloves, 4 sliced thinly, 2 minced
- 1/2 cup vegetable broth (have on-hand, may not use the whole thing)
- 1 piece of ginger, peeled and grated
- 4 teaspoons of soy sauce or tamari
- 4 teaspoons of dark brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons of sesame oil
- Combine 2 cloves of the minced garlic, grated ginger, soy sauce/tamari, brown sugar and sesame oil in a small bowl, set this mixture aside.
- Remove the tofu from the package and cut it into 8 1/2 inch-thick slices.
- Lay the tofu slices on paper towels on a plate to drain, or sandwich the slices between a clean cloth towel on a plate to drain.
- Heat 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil in a wok over medium heat. Once heated, add the bok choy stems and the sliced garlic. Cook for about 1 minute, then add the bok choy greens and cook until they wilt, about 4 more minutes. Add 1 tbsp broth, and reduce heat to a simmer until the bok choy is tender and the liquid is boiling off (if not tender enough before the liquid boils off, add more broth as needed).
- Heat a skillet to temperature on high heat.
- Once heated, add the other tablespoon of vegetable oil.
- Add the tofu slices and then brown them a few minutes on each side.
- Add the soy sauce/tamari mixture to the tofu to coat and turn down the heat to simmer.
- Simmer a few minutes until the sauce becomes syrupy.
- Serve the bok choy over rice and top with the tofu.
- Optional: If desired, add some of the remaining broth to the tofu glaze pan and scrape the syrupy glaze into the broth over low heat. Once incorporated, this can then be poured over the rice if you like it more saucy.
- When draining the tofu, place in the fridge for up to 8 hours while draining. (If doing this within 30 minutes of making the meal, place another plate & can on top of the towel to weight down & press the liquid out of the tofu quicker.)