I love this recipe because it is totally outside my comfort zone. We came across it in the American Medical Association’s Low-Salt Cookbook (3rd Edition). I had never prepared any Asiain cuisine or cooked tofu or even purchased bok choy. It took me a little while to locate the ingredients for the sauce, but it turns out they all were in the International/Asian food section of my grocery store. Once I gave it a try and made a few modifications (more veggies!) it became a staple in our household meal plans. In addition to being very healthy, it also is a nice meal to plan if you are in a “paycheck vortex” where you need to streeeeeetch your budget for few extra days. It is an inexpensive meal to prepare. That being said, the first time you cook it the ingredients for the sauce are can add up, but they last FOREVER and have a long shelf life. It’s also is quickly prepared and ready to serve. Delicious, cheap,and quick- It’s the dinnertime trifecta!
1/4 cup Vegetable Broth
2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon canola
2 garlic cloves, minced
12 ounce package extra-firm light tofu, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
12 ounce bag of frozen sugar snap peas
4 stalks of bok choy (green and white parts), cut into 1/2 pieces
1 can baby corn, rinsed and drained
1 can sliced water chestnuts, rinsed and drained
2 teaspoons chopped peanuts
instant brown rice
1. Whisk the broth, hoisin sauce, soy sauce, cornstarch and sesame oil until the cornstarch dissolves. Set aside.
2. Swirl canola oil in a large saucepan (or wok) to cover the bottom. Heat oil on medium-high heat. Cook the minced garlic for about 30 seconds. Stir often to prevent it from burning.
3. Add the tofu. Cook the tofu and garlic for about 5 minutes, until the tofu is light golden brown. Stir constantly to prevent burning.
1. It only takes a minute to cut up the tofu, but look for a package of pre-cubed tofu to save time.
2. Tofu is packaged in water so if it’s your first time opening a pack, do it over the sink. I learned this the hard/messy way. 🙂
3. Tofu is found in the produce department. I wasted a lot of time the first time I looked for it in the grocery store.
3.5 In a separate pan, follow the directions on a package of instant rice if you’d like to have it ready when the stir fry is finished.
4. Stir in the sugar snap peas, bok choy, baby corn, and water chestnuts. Cook for about 5 minutes until the mixture is warmed thoroughly.
7. Stir the sauce into the veggie mixture coating the tofu and veggies.
8. Serve over brown rice. Sprinkle with peanuts if you’d like.
Now you may be thinking, “Mandy, this looks great, but my kids will never eat this.” Before you write this off, let me tell you how we got our three-year old to clean his plate. We started with the brown rice and put a few pieces of the baby corn with it. He tried it and liked it. Good. The next time we had it for dinner I put corn and tofu on his rice. He ate it with little fuss. Now he eats everything except the sugar snap peas so I feel pretty good about it. He’s getting whole grains from the rice, veggies from the bok choy, and protein from the tofu. Don’t believe me? Here’s his “happy plate!”
What comfort zone-busting recipe does your family love? Do you have a favorite Asian-inspired recipe? I think I’m ready for another!