Total Time: 45 minutes
RECIPE OVERVIEW It’s easy to make a great tofu and vegetable stir-fry at home. Here are two keys to any great stir-fry: prepare all your ingredients in advance so that they are ready to use when the cooking starts, and add each one at the right time. For perfectly crispy tofu with a creamy interior, we use extra-firm tofu and cook it first, giving it plenty of room to brown in the hot pan, and then we set it aside until we’re ready to finish the dish. Coating the tofu with a thin layer of cornstarch helps it develop a browned crust with a minimum of oil; the coating also helps the stir-fry sauce cling to the tofu cubes for lots of flavor in every bite. Sturdier bok choy stems and carrots are added before the quicker-cooking bok choy greens. The delicate aromatics, ginger and garlic, are added only near the end of cooking, followed by the flavorful sauce. Serve with white or brown rice.
½ cup chicken or vegetable broth
¼ cup Shaoxing wine or dry sherry
3 tablespoons hoisin sauce or oyster sauce
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
14 ounces extra-firm tofu, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 small head bok choy (about 1 pound)
3 scallions, minced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
⅓ cup cornstarch
2 carrots, peeled and cut into matchsticks
1. FOR THE SAUCE Whisk all ingredients together in bowl.
2. FOR THE STIR-FRY Arrange tofu on rimmed baking sheet lined with several layers of paper towels and let sit for 20 minutes to drain.
3. While tofu drains, remove greens from stems of bok choy by cutting along either side of stems. Slice stalks thin on bias and slice greens thin. Combine scallions, garlic, ginger, and 1 teaspoon oil in bowl.
4. Gently pat tofu dry with paper towels. Place cornstarch in medium bowl. Working with a few pieces at a time, toss tofu gently in cornstarch to coat, then transfer to plate.
5. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in 12-inch nonstick skillet or 14-inch flat-bottomed wok over high heat until just smoking. Add tofu and cook, turning occasionally, until crisp and browned on all sides, about 8 minutes. Transfer to bowl (do not cover) and set aside.
6. Add remaining 2 teaspoons oil to skillet and return to high heat until shimmering. Add carrots and bok choy stalks and cook until vegetables are crisp-tender, about 4 minutes.
7. Clear center of skillet; add scallion mixture; and cook, mashing mixture into skillet, until fragrant, 15 to 30 seconds. Stir into vegetables.
8. Return tofu to skillet and stir in bok choy greens. Whisk sauce to recombine, then add to skillet. Simmer, tossing constantly, until tofu is heated through and sauce is thickened, 30 seconds to 2 minutes. Serve.