Saturday, February 4, 2012

Day 28: The Asian Pantry

So tonight, I came home after my dreaded weekend statistics course, and I was not really in the mood to cook dinner, but I thought, why not just stir-fry something quick, using ingredients found in my pantry and my fridge (and by pantry, I can't afford that luxury in NYC, so it's really a shelving unit, not an actual pantry). Being my dad's daughter, I was in the mood for something Chinese, but seeing as how my eggplant had spoiled, I couldn't make my favorite Szechuan eggplant dish from his kosher Chinese cookbook (From Lokshen to Lo Mein  in case any of you are wondering about this phenomenon). SO, I improvised and made another spicy vegetarian (and vegan actually) dish, and will have to wait for the eggplant dish for some other day. In the meantime, feast your eyes on this recipe: 

Szechuan-Style Tofu with Baby Bok Choy, Rapini, Cucumbers and Bamboo Shoots
Makes 2-3 servings

1/2 block firm tofu
1 baby bok choy
1- 4 oz. can of bamboo shoots
4 rapini stalks
1/2 cucumber
1/8 c. lemon juice
2 tbsp sesame oil
2 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tsp Sriracha sweet chili sauce
2 tbsp Szechuan stir-fry and marinade sauce (San J brand)
2 tsp Chinese 5 spice
1 c. light coconut milk
1 tbsp minced garlic

1) Heat up the sesame oil, rice vinegar, 1 tsp Chinese 5 spice, lemon juice, 1/2 c. coconut milk, and the Szechuan sauce in a large skillet on medium heat.
2) Drain tofu in a colander and slice it into 1/4 inch strips.
3) Place the tofu in the skillet, stir-fry it for a couple minutes and then cover the skillet with a lid, turning down the heat to let it simmer while you prepare the veggies.
4) Drain bamboo shoots in a colander and slice them into thin strips.
5) Slice cucumber diagonally into 1/4 inch slices and then into 1/8 inch thin strips.
6) Cut off the stalks from the rapini and save the leaves for a later use (not in this recipe).
7) Slice the stalks into 1/4 inch in pieces.
8) Separate the bok choy and rinse it in a colander really well to remove the dirt.
9) Slice the white ends of the bok choy and reserve the green leaves in two bowls to serve later.
10) Remove tofu with a slotted spoon and reserve in a small bowl.
11) Place the veggies in the skillet with the remaining 1/2 c. coconut milk, minced garlic, Sriracha sauce,  and 1 tsp of Chinese 5 spice powder.
12) Turn up the heat to medium again and stir-fry veggies for a couple minutes, before letting them simmer on a lower heat for 5 minutes.
13) Turn off the heat, and spoon the veggie mixture over the bok choy leaves in two bowls, topping it with some tofu. Serve immediately!

Enjoy and Bon Appetit!

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