In Which I Learn to Trust Bok Choy

Another day, another cleanse meal from the Bon Appetit Food Lover’s Cleanse. This one comprised of Stir Fried Bok Choy and Mizuna with Tofu with a side of Brown Rice and Carrot Pilaf. Now, I can’t lie to you. We didn’t use mizuna. I still don’t know what mizuna is. I looked briefly for mizuna, google searched it on my iPhone, realized it was going to be hard to find, and thought “Screw it. We’ll work it out.”

I can’t really take credit for “working it out,” however, as the Boy started the pilaf before I got home and after I chopped up all the ingredients for the stir fry, I was struck down by an unfortunate sinus headache and spent the rest of the cooking time on the couch popping tylenol and moaning. I did manage to perk up in time to EAT dinner…funny how that works.

This dinner was perhaps our favorite so far, despite its seeming simplicity and the fact that we took great liberties with the recipes. For instance, I was supposed to get baby bok choy, but I just got regular:

Chopped bok choy.

All that yummy green-ness.

And of course, we skipped the mizuna entirely…though otherwise I think it went pretty much as planned. Maybe.

Prepping for our stir-fry: scallion, ginger, and garlic.

Prepping for our stir-fry: scallion, ginger, and garlic.

Pan-frying the tofu.

Pan-frying the tofu.

And the whole meal turned out great! The bok choy was tender and not at all bitter, as I’d feared it might be, the tofu was well-cooked, and the pilaf, if perhaps a little undercooked, had great flavor. We’ve got some extra bok choy, so I can see this meal coming back again in the future…

Stir-Fried Bok Choy (and Mizuna) with Tofu

Dinner #3 on the Cleanse.

Stir-Fried Bok Choy (and Mizuna) with Tofu
All recipes from Bon Appetit Food Lover’s Cleanse 2012.

The next day, this reheated well with a side of lentils for a quick and easy dinner. The bok choy is really quite tasty and a new green I’ll definitely remember for the future!

Yield: 4 Servings
3 1/2  Tbsp. soy sauce, divided
4  tsp. Asian sesame oil, divided
3 1/2  tsp. unseasoned rice vinegar, divided
1  14- to 16-oz. container extra-firm tofu, drained (we only used 12 oz.)
2  Tbsp. canola oil
4  scallions, chopped
1  Tbsp. finely chopped peeled fresh ginger
2  garlic cloves, finely chopped
4  bok choy, leaves separated, chopped (they wanted 4 baby bok choy)
12  cups loosely packed mizuna (about 8 oz.) (We skipped this)

Ingredient Info: Mizuna is sold at some supermarkets and Asian markets.

Whisk 2 Tbsp. soy sauce, 2 tsp. sesame oil, and 1/2 tsp. vinegar in bowl.

Stack 2 paper towels on work surface. Cut tofu crosswise into 3/4″-thick slices; cut each slice crosswise in half. Arrange tofu on paper towels and let stand 10 minutes. Pat top of tofu dry.

Heat canola oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add tofu and cook, without moving, until golden brown on bottom, 2-3 minutes per side. Transfer tofu to paper towel to drain, then place tofu on sheet of foil and brush both sides with soy sauce mixture.

Wipe out any canola oil from skillet. Add 2 tsp. sesame oil and place skillet over medium heat. Add scallions, ginger, and garlic. Stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add remaining 1 1/2 Tbsp. soy sauce and 2 tsp. vinegar, then bok choy. Toss until bok choy wilts, 102 minutes. Add mizuna in 2 batches, tossing to wilt before adding more, 1-2 minutes per batch. Season greens with salt and pepper. Add tofu to skillet. Toss gently to blend. Transfer to platter.

Brown Rice and Carrot Pilaf
We used just regular old brown rice and this, and it was a little tough – probably could have used a long cooking time. However, the broth and carrots made for a very tasty pilaf. Buy your carrots pre-grated and save your Boy the trouble of doing it himself. Oops.

Yield: 8-10 Servings

This soup is based on Lundberg brown basmati rice, but read the directions on your brown basmati back aging and adjust the liquid-to-rice ratio.

1 small onion, minced
4 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
5 carrots, peeled, then shredded on the large holes of a box grater2 large garlic cloves, minced
1 sprig thyme (optional); 2 cups brown basmati rice, or other brown rice
3 1/4 cups low-sodium chicken broth Kosher salt (start with 1 1/2 tsp.)
Freshly ground black pepper

Heat 2 Tbsp. oil in a heavy-bottomed pot (at least 3 quarts) over medium heat. Sweat the onion in the oil for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently, then stir in the carrots and the garlic (and thyme if using) with 1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt, and cook for 5 minutes longer. Add rice and cook for an additional minute, stirring frequently. Pour in chicken broth and bring liquid to a boil over high heat. cover pot, reduce heat to low, and cook for 50 minutes

Remove from heat and fluff rice with a fork. Taste to the rice for seasoning, and adjust with pepper and a little more salt, and up to 2 Tbsp. olive oil if necessary. Cover rice and let steam off the heat for 10 more minutes before serving.

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