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The best part about mastering a stir fry is how easy it is to customize once you’re comfortable with the basic techniques and flavors. The two most important components to this dish are the rice and the sauce.
When preparing an Asian-inspired dish, it’s best to use a long grain rice such as Jasmine. While cooking the rice, you’ll want to make sure it’s too dry that it will burn the bottom of your pot and not too wet that it will become soggy. In the event the rice is on the wetter side, you’ll be able to cook off some of the extra water once the rice goes in the pan to stir fry.
As far as the flavors go, there are a handful of ingredients that will automatically transform your dish into an Asian-inspired meal. Using soy sauce, toasted sesame oil, and freshly grated ginger will give you a sauce base that is delicious on its own while also being a great foundation for more complex variations too. You can use this sauce on all kinds of rice dishes, as a salad dressing, a marinade and more! Depending on the other ingredients you’re cooking with, it can help to add rice wine vinegar for an acidic little punch or red pepper flakes for some heat.
For this recipe in particular it’s also helpful to know about the different types of tofu available which vary in softness, and which to use in certain dishes. Typically you’ll see tofu labeled as “soft”, “firm”, or “extra-firm”. For this recipe, it’s best to stick with either firm or extra-firm as the soft tofu is too delicate to be tossed around and will end up breaking apart into small crumb-like pieces rather than the bite-sized cubes that make this dish so yummy.
- 1 block firm tofu
- ½ C soy sauce plus more to taste
- ⅛ C toasted sesame oil
- 1 ½ tbl rice wine vinegar
- ½ tsp agave or honey
- 1 tsp fresh ginger grated
- ½ tsp crushed red pepper flakes optional
- 2 cup cooked Jasmine rice or other long grain rice
- 4 whole baby bok choy sliced vertically into quarters
- 8 oz baby bella mushrooms sliced
- 2 cloves garlic
- 3 tbl vegetable oil or other neutral oil such as canola or grapeseed
- 3 stalks scallions sliced, to garnish
- sesame seeds to garnish
- chili oil to serve (optional)
- Place together all of the ingredients except for the tofu in a medium bowl. Whisk together until fully incorporated.
- Cut the tofu into ½” cubes and gently toss into the marinade mixture until evenly coated. Let sit for at least 20 minutes, you can make this first so it has time to marinate while you prepare everything else or you can make this the day before and store in the refrigerator.
- When ready to use, separate the tofu from the marinade and set both aside to use in the stir fry.
- Place 2 Tbl oil and garlic in a pan on medium low heat and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes.
- Add in bok choy and saute until leaves are just slightly wilted but still bright green in color, about 5 minutes.
- Add 1 Tbl oil and the cooked rice and cook until the rice crisps up and excess water has evaporated, about 6 minutes.
- Once cooked to your liking, add in the marinade sauce and toss to coat the stir fry.
- Then add in the tofu and cook until just warmed through, about 3 minutes.
- Serve with a sprinkle of scallions and sesame and enjoy! For some extra heat, this dish is also delicious eaten with your favorite chili oil drizzled on top.
To make this recipe totally gluten free, you can use tamari instead of soy sauce. Tamari is also a sauce made from fermented soy beans but is made without wheat. Although similar in flavor to soy sauce, tamari is a little bit thicker in consistency and a little less salty. You can use tamari in any recipe where soy sauce is used instead.
Tips & Tricks
When making this dish, it’s helpful to know that each component can be made the day before to save on prep time. The rice, the sauteed vegetables and the tofu can all be prepped up to the day before you are ready to stir fry. In fact, the longer the tofu sits in the marinade the more flavor it will absorb! The key here is to make sure the tofu is as dry as possible before it is dressed with the marinade to ensure that it soaks into the tofu. If preparing the tofu the night before, place in an airtight container and keep in the refrigerator until you’re ready to use it.