Sesame Ginger Bok Choy with Tofu


When researching interesting facts about bok choy (which, incidentally, is a member of the cabbage family), I learned that in Chinese medicine bok choy is considered to have a cold energy, and it should always be served with something with a hot energy- such as ginger.  Well, I don’t know about the medicinal effects of this meal, but I do know it looks darn pretty and tastes fantastic.
Bok Choy has all the benefits of a leafy green- calcium, magnesium, Vitamins A, C, Folate.  Ginger tastes fantastic and is great for digestion.  Indian traditional medicine believes sesame oil to be calming.  So basically what I’m telling you is that this dish will make you feel GOOD.
If you aren’t familiar with the technique of pressing tofu, it is worth doing so before cooking this dish.  It allows it to absorb all the flavors better.  And fry the tofu low and slow- that’s the secret to getting a good texture out of it like they do in restaurants. 


Make Ahead and Make it Easy

If you do a little bit of prep work a few days beforehand, this turns out to be an amazingly easy and impressive recipe to throw together in about 10 minutes (plus cooking the rice- if you don’t have a rice cooker then get one!).
First, press the tofu and cook it up good and crispy on your “prep day,” or when the kids are napping, or when you are enjoying a glass of wine after dinner the night before.  Once it is nice and golden store it in an airtight container in the fridge.
You should also wash and chop the bok choy.  BAM.  You are a cooking machine!
Then make the sauce but do not add the cornstarch until right before you use it, or it will get jelly-like.  Store the sauce in an airtight container in the fridge.  I always put the box of cornstarch on top of the sauce in the fridge so I dont forget to whisk it in before use.
Finally, making rice in big batches ahead of time is a swell idea because rice freezes well.  To re-heat it just pop it in an airtight container with a bit of water and nuke it.
  • 1 lb firm tofu pressed, dried, and cut into your favorite shape (I like triangles.  They taste sooo good)
  • 2 Tbs high heat oil (peanut or grapeseed)
  • 4 Tbs ginger, chopped (I cheat and buy chopped ginger in a jar)
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 lb bok choy, leaves and stems washed and chopped (chop off the stubby end but the stems are great)
  • 1/2 cup veggie broth
  • 2 tsp Sherry or rice-wine
  • 1 Tbs soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cornstarch
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • sesame seeds for garnish
  • steamed rice

How to make it

  1. Heat 1 Tbs of oil in a large skillet and add the tofu.  Cook on medium heat until golden underneah- about 10 minutes.  Then flip it and repeat.  Its best not to stir too much or it’ll get crumbly.  Remove tofu and set aside.
  2. While tofu is cooking, whisk together broth, sherry, soy sauce, sugar , salt, and cornstarch in a small bowl until cornstarch is dissolved.
  3. Heat remaining 1 Tbs oil . Add ginger and garlic and stir for 5 seconds. Add bok choy and stir until leaves begin to wilt- justt a minute or two.
  4.  Pour the sauce over the bok choy and cook for about another minute.
  5. Add the tofu and let it get warm.
  6.  Remove from heat, drizzle with sesame oil.  Serve over rice topped with sesame seeds  

Adapted from Gourmet; December 2004


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