To be fair, I don’t actually know if this bears any resemblance to any traditional Sichuan food. However, I did use the sauce from that Sichuan eggplant I got from Serious Eats, so that classifies it as deserving a fancy name in my book.
Anyway, this was my first effort at using up the rather plentiful bok choy from my CSA box. I was craving that hot-and-sour eggplant, but eggplant won’t be in season for months still, so I had to make do. I added some tofu to give it a little protein, and also to bulk it up some since greens cook down so damn much.
Definitely worth making again. The tofu was the best I’ve ever made – very crispy outside, nice and creamy inside. It went really well with the sauce. Husband and I both had seconds. The kids ate all the tofu from theirs and asked for more, but they thought the sauce-covered greens were too spicy.
For the sauce and bok choy, I basically followed this recipe from Serious Eats exactly, only I used bok choy instead of the eggplant (and didn’t brine it, of course, because it’s bok choy, not eggplant). I just made the tofu first and chopped up all the vegetables for the stir fry while the tofu was frying, so it didn’t take long at all – maybe 30 minutes start to finish. Once the bok choy and sauce were done, I just stirred the tofu into it before shoveling it in. Here’s how I did the tofu:
- 1 package firm or extra firm tofu, drained and lightly pressed
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Vegetable oil
- Heat about half an inch of vegetable oil in a very large skillet over medium heat.
- While the oil is heating up, cut the tofu into little cubes, about ½” on each side. I found it easiest to do by cutting the tofu into three thin slabs, then slicing those into sticks about the size of french fries, then slicing across those to make cubes.
- Toss the tofu cubes with the cornstarch and salt.
- When the oil is hot, add the tofu. Try to scatter it across the pan and not let it sit in a big heap.
- Stir the tofu occasionally to make sure all sides cook. Once it’s lightly browned all over, remove to a plate lined with paper towels to drain, then stir it into the final dish (or just eat it plain, really).