After a series of holiday parties and family gatherings in November and December, it’s not uncommon for most people to feel overstuffed. That means January is a great time to adjust your diet to “detox”.
My go-to “detox” and feel-good dishes are usually tofu stews with vegetables. In fact, I make them often, whenever I feel the need to. With a large variety of tofu products and vegetables to choose from, together with myriad flavor-boosting Asian ingredients such as dried mushrooms and soybean pastes, you can easily come up with a different tofu stew recipe each time you make it.
The recipe below is one of my personal favorites. I use fried tofu cubes, which have a nice chewy texture and beautiful golden color. You can find them in Asian grocery stores, with firm varieties often labeled as “fried tofu cakes” and puffy or spongy ones as “fried tofu puffs”. I choose bok choy because their crisp stems turn wonderfully tender and creamy after a brief simmering. The dried shiitake mushrooms not only create a clear and flavorful broth, but also add textural diversity to the dish.
This recipe is 100% customizable, so feel free to use any tofu product or vegetable you prefer.
Tofu stew with bok choy and dried shiitake mushrooms
Makes 2 servings
8 oz (230 g) fried tofu or any other tofu product of your choice; cut into bite-size pieces
7 oz (200 g) bok choy, preferably baby bok choy; cut in half or quarter lengthwise depending on the size
1 oz (30 g) dried shiitake mushrooms
2 teaspoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons sesame oil
Salt and freshly ground white peppers
- Soak the dried shiitake mushrooms in 2 cups of just boiled water for at least 1 hour.
- Blanch the bok choy briefly in boiling salted water; drain well.
- Strain the mushroom soaking water. Bring it to a boil together with the soaked mushrooms. Add the soy sauce and tofu pieces, and simmer for 2-3 minutes. Add the bok choy and simmer until the stems of the bok choy turn tender and creamy.
- Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper, drizzle with the sesame oil, and serve immediately.
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