Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Stir-Fried Tofu and Bok Choy with Cashew Sauce

I have never been one to keep up with the trends, nor have I ever been a trendsetter. So you might be a little shocked with my next two statements. Bok Choy is the new carrot. Cashew is the new peanut. This is good stuff, not to be missed. Run now before you can't find Bok Choy and Cashews anywhere! Hmmm...I see you are still here. Turns out I am not so good at the whole trendsetting thing. That doesn't mean I don't know what I am talking about here.
Fairbanks has the best Bok Choy. If you live here and aren't eating Bok Choy this time of year, you are missing out. Yeah, I know Fairbanksans are all about the carrots and I like them too. I'm telling you the Bok Choy is flying under the radar here. I think people should be lined up at the market for it.
Of course this whole trendsetting thing was inspired by a silly dinner conversation the other night in which David said I think this dish should be the new Peanut Sauce. In reply I joked, "cashew is the new peanut".
We eat our fair share of peanut sauce, so to have something to replace it is really saying something. I think peanut sauce will become the winter menu item, it is more stick to your ribs. During the summer I like the lighter, milder flavor of the cashew sauce. In any case it was the perfect pairing with Bok Choy. A peanut sauce would have been way too much, covering up the delicate flavor. The cashew sauce was a perfect compliment.

Stir-Fried Tofu and Bok Choy with Cashew Sauce
adapted from Asparagus to Zucchini

1/2 cup raw cashews
1 tablespoon minced ginger root
1/4 cup rice vinegar
pinch of red pepper flakes
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 1/2 pounds bok choy
1/4 cup peanut oil
One package extra-firm tofu (10.5 ounce) 

Toast cashews in dry skillet, tossing frequently until lightly brown and fragrant.
Combine cashews, vinegar, sugar, soy sauce, ginger, red pepper flakes, and 2-4
tablespoons water in a blender or food processor; puree until smooth. Set aside.
Wash bok choy stems and leaves well, making sure to rinse away dirt in the ribs.
Separate bok choy leaves from stalks. Cut stalks into 1-inch pieces and roughly
chop leaves. Heat peanut oil in large skillet over high heat until hot but not
smoking. Add tofu and cook until lightly browned. Add bok choy stems and cook, stirring often, until crisp-tender, 2-3 minutes. Add the leaves; cook until they wilt and turn bright green, another
minute or so. Pour cashew sauce over tofu mixture (you may not want to use all the sauce) and stir to mix. Remove from heat and serve immediately.
Makes 4 servings as an appetizer or side item. Serves two as a meal.

5 comments:

  1. This sounds good and I like the short list of ingredients. I shall make it.

    The photos are knockouts. The first one would make a great hardcover cookbook cover of Alaskan vegetable delights.

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  2. I love how you show the adaptations in your recipes! =)
    and..... wow!

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  3. I have a bunch of bok choi I almost stir fried last night but I was unexpectedly out of soy sauce so I made something else. Now I'm glad, because I will make this instead. Cashew sauce sounds amazing.

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  4. Mmm, you sure know how to make a great meal. I've been looking for a good nut sauce recipe and yours sounds fantastic.

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  5. All I have to say is: "YUM!!" A heads up to the new food trends that my (rather dim) radar has picked up on: butchering, fruit hand pies, and designer cocktails -this may not be new (designer cocktails may be contemporary with backyard chickens and 'sustainable' anything) but I have just recently taken notice. Butchering, on the other hand, seems to be THE new/extreme food trend -and what's not to love about fruit hand pies?

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