WTF do I do with this baby bok choy?


Toasted sesame noodle salad

Well, the title of this post is kind of a lie because I’m not going to tell you exactly what to do with baby bok choy, or at least I’m not going to tell you exactly what I did with it tonight, because I used a recipe from a cookbook and didn’t make any changes to it and I’m not a plagiarist so I’m not going to reprint it here. I don’t know why I’m such a stickler about these things when we live in a world where nobody cares about food blogger plagiarism (not that I’m a food blogger) and food blogger plagiarists are known to be widely adored and get book deals and six-figure advances. But whatever, I’m many things but I’m no plagiarist.

Anyway, you don’t even need a recipe to cook bok choy. It’s a very forgiving vegetable, surprisingly mellow and delicious. Soren loves it, or at least he pretends he does even though when faced with it, he scrunches up his face and says he doesn’t want to eat it. (The other day someone asked him what his friends were named and the first thing he said was “Bok choy!”) You can stir fry it with pretty much anything, like tofu or Gardein Mandarin Orange Crispy Chick’n.

Tonight I made the Toasted Sesame Noodle Salad from Totally Vegetarian: Easy, Fast, Comforting Cooking for Every Kind of Vegetarian by Toni Fiore (no affiliate link). I’ve mentioned this book before and it’s really good — we’ve never made anything from it that wasn’t awesome. It’s a basic noodle salad with a tamari, sweet chili sauce, and ginger (it’s always a good idea to have fresh ginger in the house) dressing and scallions and cilantro. I added baby bok choy, which I thinly sliced and fried in a little oil first, and tofu, which I baked ahead of time.

The thing I’ve learned about tofu is that, unless you’re making tofu scram, you want to prepare the tofu ahead of time because otherwise it’s Tuesday evening and you’re making dinner and you don’t feel like dealing with the tofu in addition to everything else you’re doing. This time, I baked the tofu on Sunday night (based on this recipe) — thinly sliced and placed on an oiled baking sheet (I oil generously enough to coat one side of each slice of tofu and then flip it over so the result it that it’s oiled on both sides; seasoned with a drizzle of Bragg’s liquid aminos, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder; baked at 400 for 20 minutes on each side; refrigerated until needed and then cut into smaller pieces and thrown in with the bok choy when it was almost done cooking so the tofu wouldn’t be cold. The result is a super-firm texture even people like Ben who are very picky about texture, in particular the texture of tofu, will enjoy.

The noodle salad was one of the best things I’ve had to eat in a while. So good. Soren and Ben really liked it, too. The recipe makes a lot and I suspect this is the kind of thing that’ll taste even better the next day (the recipe says to let it sit for a few hours, which I didn’t do), so it’ll provide a few awesome lunches. This is good because as much as I’m all about homemade food, I sometimes eat frozen meals (organic, but still) at the office.
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Also, here’s a conversation with Soren from earlier tonight:

Soren: Mommy, what do you do at school?
Me: I don’t go to school. Do you mean what do I do at work?
Soren: Yeah!
Me: I’m an editor.
Soren: What’s an editor?
Me: Well, I take things people have written and make them better.
Soren: Oh okay. . . . Mommy, what’s written?

How would you explain your job to a 3-year-old?