The other night I was gazing longingly at Isa Chandra’s avocado, basil and peanut stir-fry recipe, wishing I had all of the ingredients on hand but knowing there was stuff in my fridge (hi there, baby bok choy!) that I had to cook before it went bad. Using the basis of her stir-fry sauce recipe as a guide, though, I put together a really fast and easy little meal that I’m sure I’ll make again. You don’t even need to use bok choy, of course, that’s just what I had—any other combo of veggies would be fine (broccoli, peppers, onions, shredded carrots, or even kale, if you’re hardcore). It’s really the sauce and the crispy tofu that hold it all together.
BABY BOK CHOY WITH CRISPY TOFU (vegan)
1 tsp peanut oil
8oz extra-firm tofu
3 heads baby bok choy, ends trimmed
1 tbsp black sesame seeds
noodles or rice
Heat the peanut oil in a cast iron pan on medium-high heat. While it’s getting hot, slice the tofu, press out the excess moisture with a towel, then cut it into cubes. Sprinkle with a little pinch of salt (and maybe a little Japanese seven spice, if you have it) and toss gently to coat with oil. Let the tofu cook for 5-7 minutes, tossing every couple of minutes, until it’s nice and brown on all sides. Set tofu aside.
Keeping the pan on medium-high heat, add the baby bok choy and a little bit of water (maybe a tablespoon)—just enough to get some steam going. Cover the pan and let the bok choy cook for about 5 minutes, tossing occasionally. It will shrink down considerably as it cooks, so don’t worry if it seems like the pan is overstuffed at first.
Combine all of the sauce ingredients in a small bowl and add to the pan with the bok choy. Sprinkle in the black sesame seeds. Once the sauce is bubbly, add the tofu back to the pan and let simmer for another minute or so—the sauce should thicken up a bit.
Serve over noodles or rice!