This quick tofu and bok choy stir-fry uses two of my favorite shortcuts — a richly-flavored teriyaki marinade and squeeze-bottle ginger.
You’ll find teriyaki marinade in the Asian foods section of most any supermarket or natural foods store. Teriyaki marinade has more body and flavor than just dousing a dish with soy sauce.
Choose a brand of teriyaki marinade (aka teriyaki sauce) with natural ingredients and without additives. Try Korean BBQ Marinade for a change of pace. I like to err on the side of using less sauce in the stir-fry so that it doesn’t get watery. You can always pass around extra sauce to finish individual servings.
Not much chopping to do: There’s a lot less cutting to do in this tofu and bok choy stir-fry than usual. You’ll like that at the end of the day. This meal is easily competed with a simple salad of your choice and hot cooked grains or noodles.
Have you tried squeeze-bottle ginger? When it comes to ginger, I’ve all but given up on fresh — I find it so unpredictable! It’s either nice and juicy and grates easily, or else it’s a dry, stringy mess.
I love that fresh-tasting pureed or minced ginger has become readily available — often found in the produce section of supermarkets. I love the flavor of ginger and now I can use it to my heart’s content without the fuss.
Recipe adapted from Plant Power by Nava Atlas.
- 14-ounce tub extra-firm tofu
- 1 to 2 tablespoons high-heat oil, such as safflower
- 2 larger or 4 to 6 smaller baby bok choy
- 3 scallions, sliced
- 1/4 cup teriyaki marinade, plus more to pass around
- 2 teaspoons minced or pureed ginger (from a jar or squeeze bottle)
- 4 to 6 ounces baby power greens, spinach, or arugula
- Hot cooked grain (rice or quinoa) for serving
- Roasted peanuts or toasted cashews for topping
- Sriracha or dried red pepper flakes
- If you have a tofu press and think of it ahead of time, press the tofu. Otherwise, cut into 8 slices crosswise and blot very well with a clean tea towel or paper towels.
- Cut each of the tofu slices into strips or dice.
- Heat the oil in a stir-fry pan or in a large skillet. When nice and hot, add the tofu. Cook over high heat, stirring often, until golden on most sides.
- Meanwhile, cut larger baby bok choy in half lengthwise, then slice about 1/2 inch thick crosswise (discard the stem end), leaves included. Or, if the bok choy are tiny, just cut in half lengthwise. Either way, rinse well in a colander to remove grit.
- Add the bok choy along with the remaining ingredients (except the optional ones) and stir-fry over high heat for just another minute or so, until the bok choy leaves are bright green.
- Serve at once on its own or over hot cooked grain. Pass around extra teriyaki sauce for serving, and if you’d like, some nuts for topping and sriracha or red pepper flakes to spice up the dish.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 302Total Fat: 18gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 14gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 846mgCarbohydrates: 19gFiber: 9gSugar: 9gProtein: 24g
Nutrition data is always an estimate depending on program used to calculate and specific products used.
More about bok choy
Bok choy is arguably one of the most widely available variety of Asian greens in the west. The term “bok choy” generally describes the larger kind, with the crisp white stalks and dark leaves. Baby bok choy is a smaller version, with stems and leaves of a fairly uniform, pale green hue. Either variety is a kind of two-fer: A crisp veggie and leafy greens in one neat package.
Most people who like greens or who have eaten in Chinese restaurants have likely come across this mild, likable vegetable. While we’re familiar with the two above described varieties, there are at least twenty in parts of the Asia where this kind of green is consumed with more frequency.
If you scour Asian markets, you might find a kind of bok choy that’s half again as small as the kind of baby bok choy commonly marketed in western supermarkets or natural foods markets. If you’re lucky enough to come across it, simply rinse it well and use it whole in stir-fries.
Either of the common varieties of bok choy are equally good raw in salads or very lightly cooked in stir-fries and Asian-style soups. When it comes to cooking, the less the better — the leaves wilt quickly and the stems are best when still crisp. So the watchword is quick — add last and don’t cook for more than a minute unless it’s in a braised preparation.
To prepare, they’re usually just stemmed (an inch or so needs to be trimmed off the bottom of the larger bok choy stalks) and sliced, leaves and all.
Photos (top and middle) by Hannah Kaminsky
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