Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Tofu Bok Choy Stir-Fry

First of all, let me say that this is another recipe that looks (ok, maybe not in MY photos) and sounds gourmet and time-consuming, but is really quick, easy, and best-of-all: healthy!  

Bok choy (Chinese cabbage), from the Brassica familiy (including cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, turnips, etc), is used in a lot of Chinese recipes.  It's great because it's tasty, crispy, and full of nutritional value.  It's rich with antioxidants calcium, potassium, beta-carotene, and vitamin A.   Tofu, or bean curd, also has Chinese origins.  It doesn't have a lot of flavor by itself, but tastes well in flavorful dishes (like stir-fry).  Tofu is also low in calories.  Additionally, tofu offers plenty of iron, protein, and calcium and is a great alternative to meat.  There are two types of tofu: silken and regular.  Both types come in soft, medium, firm, and extra firm.  Be sure to use regular in firm or extra-firm for stir-fries.

I actually ate the Crispy Tofu at Zengo  in Washington DC a few weeks ago (delicious), which inspired me to come up with a tasty Tofu Stir-fry recipe of my own.  

1 lb firm or extra-firm regular Tofu

2 Tbsp. Canola Oil
1 Red bell pepper, cut into strips
2 Cloves Garlic, minced (or 
1.5 Tsp. Ginger
1 lb Baby Bok Choy, stalk/stem cut into pieces, large leaves cut in half, small leaves left as is (see photo below)
1/4 cup water
1 Tbsp. low-sodium Soy sauce
1/2 Tsp.  Crushed Red Pepper
1 Tbsp. Sesame Seeds

1 Tbsp. Cilantro

1. Drain the tofu and blot with paper towels to dry.  Cut the tofu into pieces, about 1/2" thick and 1" long. 
2.  Heat 1 Tbsp. of oil on medium-high heat in Wok (or large skillet).  Add the tofu and stir-fry until light gold.  Set aside on paper towels.

3.  Add remaining oil to wok.  Toss in Red pepper, stir for 4 minutes.  Add Garlic, Ginger, Baby bok choy stalk/stem pieces.  Stir-fry about 1-2 minutes.  Add the leaves.  Stir fry another 1-2 minutes.
4.  Pour the water into the wok.  Stir until the water evaporates.  Add in the golden tofu, Soy sauce, crushed red pepper and stir for 1-2 minutes.
5.  Remove from heat.  Sprinkle cilantro and sesame seeds on top of dish and serve immediately!

Optional:  Pair with 1/2 cup white sticky rice, brown rice, or Chinese noodles if you'd like more substance.  

Note:  You are correct (if you noticed).  The photos don't include my sprinkling of cilantro and sesame seeds!  Oops--I'm human.  When I make it again, I'll take new photos. 

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