Friday, June 17, 2011

Stir Fried Baby Bok Choy with Baked Teriyaki Tofu

I really do need a better camera. I promise it looked better in person.
I never thought I actually liked bok choy, so I was a bit nervous to have to eat it this week. It's always been the strange, annoying almost celery-like thing taking up space that could be used by good vegetables in my Chinese takeout when I was a kid. It was weirdly crunchy and slimy at the same time. I generally just ate around it. I suppose I could have just given it to our downstairs neighbors, but I'm supposed to be eating all of these CSA veggies, trying new things, learning about seasonality--so I went for it.

Originally the plan was to roast the baby bok choy whole, but mine was just too gritty. Even after washing the whole baby bok choy (using the same method as for the rapini) didn't remove all of the grit between the stems, so I ended up having to chop it and then wash it again in the same way. This worked much better (by the way, this is the best way to wash leeks as well). Stir frying seemed to be the best method of cooking the chopped bok choy. Overall, I enjoyed the bok choy. Next time I would add a pinch of hot pepper flakes to the garlic and ginger, or perhaps instead of teriyaki sauce, use a mixture of soy sauce and chili-garlic paste. I now love bok choy. The greens are tender, the stems are not celery-like at all, nor are they slimy. I'm actually hoping I get more at some point this season so I can try something else with it.

Stir Fried Baby Bok Choy with Baked Teriyaki Tofu
Store-bought teriyaki is fine for this recipe, but following the main recipe are directions for making your own. It's very simple and you can make just as much as you need.

12 oz tofu
1/2 c teriyaki sauce

a mixture of peanut and sesame oil
one clove garlic, minced
1/2 T minced fresh ginger
one bunch baby bok choy
a splash of teriyaki or soy sauce

brown rice to serve

This is what the tofu should look like
when it's done.
Drain the tofu. While the tofu is draining, make the teriyaki sauce (see below). Cut the tofu into slices. If you prefer crispy tofu, slice it thinly and reduce the cooking time; if you prefer tofu with a crispy exterior and a creamy interior (like I do) slice it between 1/2" and 1". Place tofu in a non-reactive dish and pour the teriyaki sauce over it. Preheat the oven to 350 and leave the tofu to marinate while the oven preheats. When the oven is hot, transfer the tofu to a nonstick baking sheet, reserving the marinade. Bake for 30 min to 1 hour, depending on the thickness of your tofu, until the tofu is crisp on the outside. When tofu is done, take it out of the oven and allow to cool slightly.

While the tofu is baking, prep the stir fry ingredients (chop garlic and ginger; chop, wash and dry the baby bok choy)

While tofu is cooling, put splash of peanut oil and a splash of sesame oil, along with the garlic and ginger in a large cast iron skillet or wok. Heat, stirring often over high heat, until garlic and ginger begin to become fragrant and soften, about 2 minutes. 

Add the baby bok choy, stir frying until the stems are crisp-tender and the leaves are wilted. Remove from heat and toss with the baby bok choy with either some of the reserved marinade or with a bit of soy sauce.

Cut the tofu lengthwise into 1/2" wide strips. Serve bok choy over rice and topped with strips of tofu. Add extra sauce to taste.

Teriyaki Sauce
Adapted from Mark Bittman's How to Cooke Everything Vegetarian

1/4 c soy sauce
1/4 c mirin
1t grated ginger
1/2 clove garlic, grated
one scallion, chopped

Place all the ingredients in a small sauce pan and turn the burner to medium. Bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer for a couple of minutes, until mixture begins to thicken and reduce a bit. (Note: this will not by thick and syrupy like supermarket teriyaki, but it is delicious. Try it before you decide to add cornstarch). Remove from heat and allow to cool a bit before using, or cool completely and store tightly covered in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Makes 2-3 servings

PS--I have leftovers (and some frozen pesto), but I've successfully cooked/used all of the fruit and veggies.

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