Pak Choi, or bok choy, is a type of Chinese cabbage with a crisp and mildly sweet bulb and tender greens. It is chock full of nutrients and is a cinch to prepare. Pak choi can be eaten raw or cooked, whether in salad or stir-fry. When cooked it is at it’s best with a quick pop of heat so it retains a light crunch.
Flavourful and fast, juicy pak choi and mild tofu or tempeh are jazzed up with a hit of sesame, ginger and chili, then served up over a creamy rich coconut brown rice and sprinkled with toasted sesame seeds.
It’s a great post-holiday or weeknight throw together that hits all the right notes- healthy, simple, quick, filling, vegetable, protein, wholegrain, flavour bomb.
3 or 4 bunches Pak Choi
300g Tofu or Tempeh
2 tablespoons + 4 tablespoons Tamari or Soy Sauce
3 tablespoons Sesame Oil
4cm knob of Ginger
2 cloves Garlic
1/2 teaspoon Chili Flakes, taste dependent
1 cup Brown Rice
1 teaspoon Sea Salt
1/2 cup Coconut Milk
1 cup Water
Fresh Coriander, to top
Toasted Sesame Seeds or Crushed Peanuts, to top
The How To:
Rinse brown rice (better yet, soak overnight and then rinse!), place in a pot with sea salt, coconut milk and water. Cook until liquid is absorbed and then remove from heat and allow to steam with lid on.
Meanwhile, cut pak choi bunches in long halves from bulb to greens, then rinse in cold water to wash away dirt trapped in the bulbs.
Mince ginger and garlic. Cut tofu or tempeh into squares. Marinate in 2 tablespoons tamari, chili and half the minced ginger and garlic. Heat a heavy-based pan over high heat. Drizzle a little sesame oil in the bottom of the pan, then quickly stir fry the pak choi and other half of the ginger and garlic, just until the greens begin to wilt. Scoop onto a platter and set aside.
Using the same pan, pour in remaining oil, then add the marinated tofu/tempeh. Cook over medium heat, gently browning the tofu on all sides, taking care not to break it into too many small pieces. When finished, place on the bed of pak choi and top with the chopped coriander and sesame seeds or peanuts. Serve alongside the coconut brown rice for a delicious and simple meal.
-Soaking and then rinsing grains not only helps them to them taste better and expedites the cooking time, but also makes them far easier to digest.
-If you’d like more veggies added then go for it, or serve them up as an Asian style slaw. This is one of the few times I use just one vegetable, but the sheer simplicity is delicious.