CEiMB: Stir-Fried Chinese Cabbage with Tofu

14 Jul

As many of you know, my life has taken a huge turn over the last three months, and as I’ve waded through rather murky waters and climbed some rather steep hills, it’s my friends that have gotten me through. And included in that group is each member of the fantastic blogging group Craving Ellie in My Belly. Each week they cheer me on, and the sense of camaraderie in our intimate circle of chefs is something that means the world to me. Cooking and being in the kitchen has been like therapy to me, and to be able to share that with my CEiMBistas and all my readers has been a fantastic joy. Thank you all!

Now, before I get any mushier, let’s get to the recipe. This week was my turn to host, and I always feel such excitement to look through my books for a new recipe to try out. Unfortunately, with all my cookbooks in storage, I had to turn to an older Ellie Krieger book for inspiration this month. In “Small Changes, Big Results: A 12-Week Action Plan to a Better Life,” Ellie describes this stir fry dish as a calcium heavy hitter. She explains that it’s a great source of calcium even without the presence of dairy, and we all know how important it is to get enough calcium, especially for women.

I’ve mentioned before how supportive my parents have been both in life in general but also when it comes to my cooking. So far they have tried everything I’ve served with a good bit of enthusiasm. I was afraid the tofu might scare them off, but they were even open-minded about this meat-free dinner. Unfortunately, it just wasn’t a hit. My mom said, “It just doesn’t have the same depth of flavor as the other dishes you normally make,” and my dad said, “Hmm. I don’t really like it, but I’ll eat it.” Ha! Overall, I just felt like it turned out a little bland. I had been most afraid about the tofu, but it ended up being the sauce, or lack thereof, that turned us all off from this dish. We did all agree, however, that with a little Sriracha hot sauce, it was MUCH better. I think I liked it the best of the three of us, but it’s still not something I would make again as written. I have conquered my fear of tofu though because that is one part of this dish I would definitely eat again.

Hopefully those of you who cooked along with me this week enjoyed this dish a bit more than my family did, and I hope the tofu didn’t scare anybody off too much :) I can’t wait to see what all the other CEiMBers made, and if you want to follow along, be sure to check out the blogroll or consider joining in the fun!

Stir-Fried Chinese Cabbage with Tofu
3 small bunches bok choy (about 1 pound)
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 tablespoon peeled and grated ginger
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/3 cup chopped scallion
1 pound cooked, marinated tofu cubes (recipe to follow or buy store-bought)
2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup water
1 tablespoon sesame seeds (which I completely forgot… oops!)

Cut 1 inch off the bottom of bok choy and wash the separated stalks. Chop the bok choy crosswise into 1/2-inch-wide strips.

Heat the oil in a wok or large deep skillet over a medium flame. Add the ginger and garlic and cook for 15 seconds, stirring constantly. Add the scallion and bok choy. Raise the heat to high and cook, stirring occasionally, for five minutes.

Stir in the tofu, soy sauce, 1/4 cup water and cook, stirring occasionally, until the liquid is reduced slightly and the tofu is warmed, about 2 minutes. Sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Marinated Tofu
1 pound extra-firm tofu
2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon orange juice
2 teaspoons sesame oil
1 teaspoon canola oil
cooking spray

Slice the tofu into 1/2-inch-thick slabs and lay the slices on top of paper towels. Use more paper towels to firmly pat the tofu in order to remove as much of the water as possible. This should take about 3 paper towels and 2 minutes. Cut the tofu into cubes.

In a medium bowl, combine soy sauce, orange juice, sesame oil, and canola oil. Add the tofu cubes and toss gently. Cover and let the tofu marinate in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes and up to 24 hours.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Spray a large shallow baking dish with cooking spray. Place the tofu in a single layer in the baking dish. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until golden brown.

Serves 4.
Source: Ellie Krieger’s “Small Changes, Big Results: A 12-Week Action Plan to a Better Life,” p. 186 and 221


9 Responses to “CEiMB: Stir-Fried Chinese Cabbage with Tofu”

  1. Izzy July 14, 2011 at 2:03 am #

    Hmm! I may have just the thing for you/this.

    First of all, this looks tasty as heck. I’ve never actually cooked with bok choy!

    So, the recipe is technically for lo mein, but I use the marinated tofu in just about everything. My husband says it almost tastes like ham, but I think it just tastes like yummy tofu.

    Might be worth a re-visit. I think I shall see your bok choy and raise you a marinated tofu!


    • Liz July 14, 2011 at 3:10 pm #

      I have cooked bok choy a few different times and always really like it so I would definitely challenge you to try it, especially if you love Asian foods. It’s great in stir-fry!

      Thanks so much for the link to the lo mein recipe; that really does sound good. I think I can convince my family to try tofu again in a different recipe, and I certainly am up for trying it again :)

  2. applec July 14, 2011 at 9:23 am #

    I had the exact same reaction as your mom = “It just doesn’t have the same depth of flavor as the other dishes you normally make,”
    I made it with pork for those in the family who refuse tofu. I don’t think it was a huge success even with the pork. But you know, Liz – it was a good pick. It would have been one I chose. I’ll probably try it again but try to intensify the flavor a bit.

  3. teaandscones July 14, 2011 at 10:54 am #

    So sorry to hear it wasn’t a hit. Since I am not a tofu lover I am going to make with chicken. Otherwise even I won’t eat it.

    Keep up your great work on weight loss. You rock!!

    • Liz July 14, 2011 at 3:12 pm #

      I think the marinade would work well on chicken too so I look forward to seeing how yours turns out. Hopefully you guys will enjoy it a bit more than we did, though I will say we all ate it, including the leftovers, so it obviously wasn’t too bad :)

      Thanks, Margaret :D

  4. Bizzy B. Bakes July 14, 2011 at 11:28 am #

    So far, in reading posts, two out of two thought it did not have enough flavor. Try cooking it my way. Lots of flavor.

    Tofu does not go in our house, usually. This time was a little different.

    Yours looks fine and thanks for selecting it. Whether we make it again or not, I learn something from every recipe, we make.

  5. Bri July 14, 2011 at 8:55 pm #

    Well, I’m sorry this recipe underwhelmed your family. I was actually so happy with the way mine turned out! It had tons of flavor; the marinating was so brilliant, and I love the tofu baked! I am really glad you chose this.

  6. Kayte July 16, 2011 at 8:20 am #

    Liz, sorry I did not get to this. I might eventually, tofu not being something we have tried over here, but this week was just a whole lot of upset…we lost our little 8 year old doggie to cancer last night and the whole week leading up to it, I was just going with the familiar, the easy, and the comforting as we prepared to face Pippin’s last days. I agree, this group has been such wonderful support. Yesterday on Twitter Margaret baked with me so I would have something else to think about. It helped a lot. Thanks for your pick, I promise to make the next one with you, okay?

  7. Mrs. No-No July 18, 2011 at 10:21 am #

    Great blog! I love all your meatless ideas – – and your creamy avocado and bean wraps sound amazing – – I can’t wait to make that for lunch one day!!!
    Thanks for visiting “Mrs. No-No Knows”! …now following you back :) Hope you will stop back often and put in your two cents.
    Carla at Mrs. No-No Knows

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