Monday, January 13, 2014

Recipe // Peanutty Noodles with Bok Choy and Tofu

Full disclosure: I'm making this recipe for the second night in a row.  I noticed that baby bok choy is crazy inexpensive right now (99 cents/lb) at the store so I sought out a recipe that I could utilize this nutrient-dense vegetable. I have also been in desperate need of a break from my postpartum meat-eating ways.  This dish turned out so clean and flavorful and it magically takes all of ten minutes to cook once you have your mis en place ready. What I'm trying to impart on you is that it's not all that tough to throw together after you've put the babe down for the night and you just want to CHILL with some netflix,  some comfort food and maybe get to all those e-mails or thank you notes you've been meaning to address... 

It has it all. Your green vegetable, your protein, your noodles (who in their right mind doesn't like noodles), your ginger, you get the point.  A few things that I've learned that make my life easier when prepping for Asian dishes: 

1) Store your ginger in the freezer + grate it with a microplane (aka zester) when you're ready to use it.  It keeps a whole lot longer than it would next to your onions + it maintains its perfume + flavor.  

2) Cook your noodles al dente + give them a quick rinse in cold water before adding them to the mix - it will get rid of some of the starch and make them less mushy when they're mixed into stir-frys.  

3) Get yourself a nice wok.  They rule. Kentucky got me one for Christmas this year and I am completely in love.

I also need to caveat this recipe to let you know that it is SPICY with the additions of the red pepper flakes + sriracha.  I like spice but sometimes Kentucky thinks I am mad at him because of the amount I add so be easy with the spice if you take issue with it.  

Peanutty Noodles with Baby Bok Choy and Tofu 
 Adapted from Bon Appétit
(Serves 4) 

For the sauce:
1/4 cup               soy sauce
2 tablespoons    rice vinegar
1 tablespoon      honey 
1 tablespoon      creamy peanut butter (like JIF) 
2 tablespoons    toasted sesame oil 
2 teaspoons       cornstarch
1 teaspoon         red pepper flakes (optional) 
1 teaspoon         sriracha (optional) 

For the stir fry:

2 tablespoons     stir fry oil (peanut oil, canola oil, sesame oil will work - blend if you wish)
1 bunch              green onions, sliced (green and white parts) 
2 each                garlic cloves, minced 
1 tablespoon      ginger, grated (or minced) 
2 each                heads of baby bok choy, washed, bottom third discarded, leaves thickly sliced
1 package          extra-firm tofu, cut into 1 inch cubes, drained well on paper towels
12 ounces          thin spaghetti (or soba, or udon, or linguine will work too), cooked + drained


Whisk together the ingredients for the sauce in a small bowl and set aside.  Heat stir fry oil in your wok or heavy large pot over medium-high heat.  Add the green onions, garlic and ginger and stir fry until fragrant (15-30 seconds).  Add the bok choy and stir fry until beginning to wilt (1-2 minutes).  Mix in the tofu, then the noodles and the sauce.  Stir + heat through until the sauce thickens and coats everything (1-2 minutes).  Season with salt + pepper to taste + serve immediately

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