Nothing beats a simple stir fry any week night the week after all the holiday indulgence. I made this quick one adapted from a favorite vegetable dish at the former “Cendrillon” in New York City. Chef Romy Dorotan used to concoct this terrific bowl of vegetables for us all the time. He also serves this with seasonal vegetables at their current restaurant, Purple Yam in Brooklyn.
I have recreated it many times since, using tofu as a centerpiece of the dish. To make silky soft tofu easier to handle when cooking, I coated it with Japanese breadcrumbs, and pan-fried it separately.
If you haven’t tried it yet, tofu is packed with protein and there are many different ways to make a yummy dish out of it. Tofu comes from the Japanese word, which is derived from the Chinese “doufu” referring to “bean”.
Asians cook tofu in many interesting ways . You’ll find tofu in soup, appetizers, sides, entrees and desserts. Tofu is white colored, has a silky, soft texture, lightly flavored, and nearly bland tasting. This makes tofu perfect to combine with other contrasting flavors and ingredients.
I don’t throw away leftovers so I used ham slices we had from the other night and threw it in the skillet together with the bok choy, vegetables and flavorful Asian sauces. This was such an uncomplicated, easily delicious and healthy stir fry with tofu and ham.
- 1 large piece about 6 oz. , extra firm Tofu
- 1/2 cup from Asian markets or use regular bread crumbs Panko bread crumbs
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1 whole chopped onion
- 2 cloves minced garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon peeled and minced fresh ginger
- 1/2 cup chopped (use white parts of stem only) green onions or scallions
- 1 Tablespoon from Asian markets or major supermarkets soy sauce
- 3/4 cup water or vegetable soup stock
- 1 cup cut in cubes cooked ham
- 1 whole sliced tomato
- 2 to 3 cups coarsely shredded bok choy or any cabbage
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper powder
- 1/8 teaspoon from Asian markets sesame oil
- for serving cooked rice white or brown
- Prepare tofu by slicing in one-inch sized cubes. Coat in bread crumbs. In a large skillet, over medium high heat, add half of the vegetable oil in this recipe. Pan fry the tofu cubes for 2 to 3 minutes till bread crumbs are brown. Turn only once. Remove from skillet and drain on parchment paper to remove excess oil.
- Using the same skillet where you pan-fried the tofu, sauté the onions, garlic and ginger in the remaining cooking oil over medium heat.
- Add the tomatoes, ham cubes, soy sauce and water (or soup stock). Blend well and let this simmer for a 2 to 3 minutes.
- When vegetables are soft, add the bok choy and cook for about 2 minutes more or till soft. Season with salt and pepper. Add the sesame oil and turn off heat.
- Arrange stir fried vegetables and ham on a platter. Top with the pan-fried tofu. Serve warm with jasmine white rice.
- RECIPE ADDITIONS: If preferred, add other vegetables or leftover cooked pork, chicken or beef slices available. I have cooked this with carrots, snow peas, green beans, broccoli, edamame, bean sprouts and other greens. If tofu is not convenient, you can omit adding it altogether.