The cookbook has BEEN finished and is now getting into the hands of folks who have been eagerly awaiting its completion for months. So let me thank all of you for your patience!
Now you may remember back when I was doing my around the world Asian tour, creating vegan dishes that I grew up eating in dear old San Francisco? That’s where I developed a taste for boy choy… in childhood, and I eat it regularly. Last Friday while people were breaking their necks to go into debt on Black Friday, I sauntered over to my favorite Asian market to see what was fresh and looked good.
Lo and behold! They had these big ole bags of baby bok choy on sale, so I grabbed one. Musta been 20-25 baby bok choy stuffed into this thing, but they were super fresh and I couldn’t wait to figure out what to make with it all.
So yesterday I dug the baby bok choy out and rummaged around in the refrigerator for my other stuff. Dug out my Asian sauces, the bok choy, some garlic and shallots, and a package of half frozen tofu I’d pulled out of the freezer that morning. My original plan was to use it for tofu burgers, but I decided naw…. TOO BORE-RING!
So I stared at my pile of stuff on the counter for a few minutes, waiting for divine intervention and a light bulb moment.
Then it happened! There was singing and rainbows and unicorns and all that! And this, my young hungry friends, is what I came up with.
It might not look that spectacular, and it’s definitely not fru fru or anything like that– but the taste. OMG! Finger lickin good, baby. A perfect blend of sweet, tart, and spicy. I was a total piggy and ate it all by myself (over two days but still).
I can see myself making this again in a week or two, it was that good. Give this baby bok choy and tofu recipe a try, and let me know what you think.
- 1 package extra firm tofu (frozen, then thawed and pressed)
- 2 Tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon white pepper
- 2 Tablespoons vegan fish sauce
- 2 Tablespoons low sodium tamari
- 2 Tablespoons white wine
- 2 Tablespoons sweet Thai chili sauce
- 2 Tablespoons vegan oyster sauce (it's made with mushrooms)
- 2 Tablespoons maple syrup
- 2 Tablespoons fresh squeezed lime juice
- ½ cup shallots, sliced thinly (about 2 large)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 10-12 baby bok choy
- 4-5 Tablespoons high smoke point cooking oil (divided)
- Place package of extra firm or firm tofu in freezer overnight. Three to four hours before mealtime, remove from freezer and let thaw on counter.
- Once thawed, press tofu between pieces of paper towel or clean toweling and mash it between your hands to extract excess water. If you aren't strong enough, you can place thawed tofu on a clean kitchen towel, folding the towel over the top, then adding a plate on top of that. Weigh the plate and tofu down with a heavy book or dumbbell, and let it sit there for 20-30 minutes.
- After pressing tofu, slice it into ¼ to ⅓” slices (between 10-12 slices), then cut lengths in half to create 2” rectangles.
- Add cornstarch and black pepper powder to a plastic bag. Shake to mix. Add tofu rectancles to bag, and shake to coat tofu thoroughly. Set aside.
- Mince garlic; slice shallots thinly. If your shallots are large, cut them in half lengthwise, then slice. Set garlic and shallots aside in small bowl.
- Rinse baby bok choy thoroughly in a colander and separate each leaf. Chop leaves into 2” slices. Stems should be cut into ½” slices on the diagonal. Place stems and leaves in separate bowls and set aside.
- Combine sauce ingredients in small bowl, and stir to mix well. Set aside.
- Now it's time to cook! Line up the bowls so that they are near the stove, you'll be moving fast and need to have everything where you can get to it easily.
- Pour about 2 Tablespoons of high smoke point oil such as grapeseed or peanut oil into a large nonstick skillet or wok over medium-high heat.
- Shake excess cornstarch off tofu rectangles and add 6-8 to pan at a time. You don't want to crowd the pan. Let tofu brown lightly a minute or two, then flip and do the same to the other side. Remove into large heat-resistant bowl. Repeat process until all tofu are a light crispy brown. Pour about ⅓ of the stir fry sauce over the tofu, stir gently to coat.
- Wipe out wok or pan with paper towel, and return to stove. Turn heat to HIGH.
- Add another 2 Tablespoons of high smoke point oil to wok or skillet. Add shallots and garlic and stir-fry for 20-30 seconds. Add bok choy stalks and stir-fry for another minute.
- Add half the remaining sauce to the pan. Toss in the tofu and bok choy leaves. Stir-fry another 2-3 minutes... some of sauce will evaporate and become thicker and slightly sticky. Taste and add salt if necessary.
- Add the remaining sauce and stir-fry another 10 seconds or so.
- Serve immediately with hot Jasmine rice.