It’s funny how the smallest things inspire an entire meal. I had some leftover brown rice from Sunday’s meal: slow cooked chicken and salsa (it’s literally boneless chicken breast, a jar of yummy salsa, and chicken broth slow cooked for 8 hours on low) over rice. I thought, I could freeze the rice but it’s really not enough and I’ll probably forget about it. Then, stir fry came to mind.
I usually stick to a certain recipe when it comes to stir fry, and just substitute various vegetables and greens. It seems like a lot of ingredients, but most of them might be in your pantry. It also seems like a lot of prep, but once you’re cooking it only takes about 5 minutes to be enjoying a delicious meal!
Tofu Stir Fry with Bok Choy and Shiitake Mushrooms (serves 2-3)
- 14 oz firm tofu
- 1 lb baby bok choy (about 8 bunches), ends trimmed so all leaves are loose
- 1/2 red pepper, thinly sliced
- 20 green beans, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces
- 10 Shiitake mushrooms, sliced
- 3 scallions, chopped with white and green part
- 1 serrano pepper, finely chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1/4 tsp white pepper
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp sugar
- 1 1/2 TB soy sauce
- 1 TB dry sherry
- 1/2 tsp fish sauce
- 1 tsp cornstarch
- 1/4 cup chicken (or vegetable) broth
- 1 TB safflower oil (corn oil, grape seed oil or vegetable oil can be substituted)
- 1 TB dark sesame oil
- 1 cup cooked brown rice
Slice the tofu into dominos and place them on a paper towel to drain the moisture. Put another paper towel sheet on top and set aside until ready to use.
Boil a medium pot of water. Once boiling, add green beans and cook for 2 minutes. Drain and transfer to a bowl of ice water for 2 minutes. Drain again, and transfer to a large bowl. Add the scallions, bell pepper, and mushrooms to the bowl and set aside. Place the bok choy in a separate large bowl.
Meanwhile, combine the garlic and serrano pepper in a small dish. Then combine the sugar, salt and white pepper into another small dish. Whisk together the soy sauce, dry sherry, fish sauce, cornstarch and broth in a small bowl. Make sure all dishes are within arms reach of the stove.
Place your wok or large pan over high heat. Once the pan is hot add the safflower oil. Swirl the oil around the pan and add the tofu. Stir-fry for 1-2 minutes until it’s browned on both sides. Add the garlic and serrano pepper and sauté for 30 seconds.
Add the bell pepper, green beans, scallions and mushrooms and sauté for 2-3 minutes, until mushrooms are softened. Add the dish of white pepper, sugar and salt, and the large bowl of bok choy and sauté for 1 minute, until bok choy begins to wilt. Add the sesame oil and sauce and sauté for 1 minute, then add cooked brown rice and continue to sauté until sauce is absorbed – about 1 minute. Serve, and enjoy!
I like this recipe because it uses white pepper, and has a great, simple sauce that brings everything together. The flavor is spicy and fresh, savory and slightly earthy. I also love the combination of crunchy vegetables and soft mushrooms and tofu. It’s really the ideal stir fry.
I paired this meal with 2013 Trefethen Quandary, a blend of Estate Chardonnay, Viognier and Riesling. The wine has a slight effervescence, with notes of grapefruit, lemon, and honeysuckle on the palate. Sweet enough to cut through the spice in the dish, but dry enough to be enjoyed long after the meal is finished.