23 August 2012

Asian Greens Stir Fry

Today was my first day of classes for the semester (classes officially started yesterday, but none of my met until today). In addition, Shana has some Unit Plans due tomorrow, so she stayed a bit late at work and then had more work to do when she got home. We had planned to have a different dinner tonight, but I just wasn't able to get around to making some of the ingredients, so we switched up the dinner plan.

Tonight's dinner was Asian Greens Stir Fry. I used to make a mixed veggie stir fry regularly, but somewhere along the way I got tired of that meal even though I still wanted stir fry. That was when Asian Greens Stir Fry was born. Let me say that this is in no way authentic Asian cuisine so much as a stereotypically Asian cooking method (high heat, a wok, and frequent stirring) and some Asian-inspired flavors. However, it's easy, delicious, and good for you.


Asian Greens Stir Fry
Ingredients
Olive oil and toasted sesame oil
1 med. onion
4 cloves garlic (or less, if you're not a huge fan)
1 tsp. chopped fresh ginger, optional
1 bag of pre-washed baby spinach (or equivalent)
1 small to medium head of napa cabbage
8 heads of baby bok choy
1 brick of tofu (frozen and thawed, optional)
lemon pepper and soy sauce to taste
toasted sesame seeds to garnish, optional

Directions
1. Cut and wash all your veggies and have them ready to go.
2. Over high heat, saute the onions in the oils until they begin to soften, add the garlic (and ginger, if using). Meanwhile, cook the tofu on an electric skillet or in a large non-stick skillet.
3. Add the stem parts of the leafy greans, stirring often.
4. When the stems are almost done, add the leafy parts of the greens, stirring often.
5. Add a bit of soy sauce and lemon pepper (to taste) and the tofu, stir to incorporate.
6. Serve over rice and sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds.

Helpful Hints
  • You do not need to use toasted sesame oil, but it adds some lovely flavor.
  • This seems like a ton of food, but it's almost all greens, so it will cook down dramatically. Speaking of which, you can easily substitute other greens if you like, but make sure they are quick cooking greens (kale is probably not a good option here), or you can adjust the amounts (e.g., more cabbage and less bok choy)
  • You can cook the tofu in your wok, but if you do, a non-stick wok will work the best for you. I would also saute the tofu first, then remove it before starting with the other ingredients.
  • The key to stir fries is to have every ingredient ready to go before you turn on the heat. Once you start to add ingredients, especially in this dish, everything cooks REALLY quickly and you won't have to time to cut as you go. 
  • The tofu is an optional ingredient, but we like it. You don't have to use frozen, you can use fresh. Or, if you're incredibly planful, you can thaw your tofu and marinate it before cooking it for some added flavor. 
  • We use a rice cooker for brown rice with this, which takes a while. You can make it quicker by using a faster cooking rice (regular white rice, jasmine, basmati, etc.) or by using minute rice. 
Shana's crazy "nothing can touch" plate

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