Sichuan peppers add bold flavor to this tasty bok choy tofu stir-fry!
Guys, it’s officially 2017 and I’m so excited.
I love when the calendar restarts each January because it feels like a fresh start. I don’t “spring clean” like most people do. Instead, I go crazy the first few weeks of January and rearrange all the furniture.
This year I have this crazy idea to turn my front sitting room into a comfy floor lounge area. What is a comfy floor lounge area, you ask?
Last night I went WAY down the rabbit hole and found myself *this close* to bidding on a antique Persian rug on eBay.
Am I crazy?
Okay don’t answer that.
There was a point to all of that, but I seem to have lost it somewhere.
Oh! The new year and starting fresh and all that.
Right. So who’s ready for some food that isn’t ham + potatoes + roasted vegetables??
I spent 2016 as a vegetarian and during that time I developed a sincere love for tofu. I truly crave the stuff now.
It took me a bit to figure out how I like it prepared… which as it turns out is crispy on the outside, soft on the inside, and slathered in sticky sauce.
I’m absolutely in love with this simple dish of pan-fried tofu, stir-fried bok choy, and a sweet-and-spicy Sichuan pepper sauce.
You can use either regular or “baby” bok choy for this recipe. If you have a hard time finding bok choy, substitute Chinese cabbage (sometimes called Napa cabbage).
The Sichuan peppercorns add a tongue-tingling element to the dish.
You might be able to find them in a well-stocked grocery store, but you could also look on Amazon. If you’re in a pinch you could replace them with regular old red pepper flakes (or leave them out if you don’t like spicy!).
You could absolutely serve this as a main course with some steamed rice, or make a feast of vegetarian Chinese dishes.
Only half of the recipe is featured in the photos because I ate the rest. My bad.
Here’s Your Recipe!
Yields 2 main servings or 4 servings as a side
Fried tofu and fresh bok choy simmered in a sweet and spicy sauce - on the table in 20 minutes!
10 minPrep Time
10 minCook Time
20 minTotal Time
- 4 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
- 4 tablespoons honey
- 1 tablespoon grated ginger
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and grated
- 2 teaspoons sesame oil
- 2 teaspoons water
- 2 teaspoons corn starch
- 1 teaspoon ground Sichuan peppercorns
- 14 ounces firm tofu
- 2 teaspoons low-sodium soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons rice vinegar
- 2 teaspoons sesame oil
- 5 tablespoons corn starch
- 2 teaspoons canola oil
- 3 cups chopped bok choy
- Whisk together all of the sauce ingredients and set aside.
- Drain the tofu and cut into bite-sized cubes. Place the tofu in a colander and pour a few cups of boiling water over the top. Pat dry with paper towels, then transfer the tofu to a plastic zipper-close bag. Add the soy sauce, rice vinegar, and sesame oil to the bag. Seal the bag and give it a good shake. Re-open the bag and add one tablespoon of the corn starch. Re-seal and shake to coat. Repeat with remaining cornstarch, one tablespoon at a time, until the tofu is well-coated.
- Heat the canola oil in a large skillet or wok set over medium heat. Add the tofu, working in batches if necessary, and cook for one minute per side (6 minutes total) until golden brown. Transfer to a paper-towel lined plate to drain.
- When finished frying the tofu, add the bok choy to the pan and cook for 2 to 3 minutes; until browned and wilted. Give the sauce a good stir and add it to the pan along with the tofu. Toss well and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, until thick. Serve hot.