Is there anything good about carbs? Results from a recent study suggest that a low-carb diet may be better for your heart than a low-fat diet. I guess you need them at times for quick energy…but last time I checked, my work tends to be about sitting at a desk, and less about running after animals or other more athletic pursuits. So, I’m eating fewer carbs.
One of my favorite preparations of tofu, yudofu, is nearly zero preparation at all: slice a tofu cake into large-ish pieces; simmer in some water* to soften; serve with rice and garnishes of katsuobushi, sliced green onions, and soy sauce. That’s it! I love the simple, beany flavor of the tofu that is inexplicably sturdy enough to stand up to these aggressive garnishes. Hint: make sure you really like the tofu you are using, because you definitely be tasting it. This is not a matter of hiding or camouflaging it!
That spirit of simplicity made me think of eating tofu with gingery bok choy. Mainly because I bought a ton of baby bok choy and tofu in the fridge. I’m going to call this a hot salad.
Hot Tofu and Bok Choy Salad**
- 1/2 lb of baby bok choy, sliced into halves; (about $.85, since it was $1.69/ lb at ye olde Ranch 99 Market);
- 1/2 cake of tofu, torn into large pieces; (about $.45 at $.89 for 1 cake);
- 1/2 cubic inch of ginger sliced into matchsticks (pennies, $1.59/lb);
- soy sauce (pennies); and
- vegetable oil.
(total cost per serving: .45 + .85 + miscellaneous pennies for soy sauce and ginger = 1.30 + X = under $1.50 per serving.)
The baby bok choy cook very quickly. Wash them. Halve them. Heat up a skillet. Slice the ginger into small, matchstick-like pieces. Once the skillet is medium hot, throw 1 teaspoon of veggie oil in the middle of the skillet. Spread the oil by lifting and angling the pan (or just smearing the oil with a bit of paper towel). Throw the sliced ginger into it. (I always love the smell of frying ginger!) Let the ginger cook for about 2 minutes, flipping it with a spatula a few times. This will infuse the oil with the fabulousness of the ginger. Throw the baby bok choy into the skillet. It will wilt immediately. Cover the skillet with a lid, and turn off the heat. You are basically steaming the veggies.
Next, open a package of medium-firm tofu. Tear the tofu with your hands, into large-ish pieces. I just like the way the torn tofu looks for this dish…you can of course cut it into cubes. Put the tofu on a plate and…microwave it! Yes, I said, microwave it – it’s already cooked, so it’s now just a matter of heating it up. This prep is the ultimate in laziness! Depending on the strength of your microwave, this might be for 1 minute to 90 seconds. Ladle the bok choy, with whatever gingery-liquids that developed in the skillet, onto the tofu. Drizzle generous amounts of soy sauce. Done.
When I ate this, I felt strangely satisfied. It’s very plain, but for me, tofu is a comfort food. Can’t get much simpler than this!
* I guess some use dashi – but I’m accustomed simmering it in plain old water.
** If there is such a thing as a roast beef salad, I think I can name this a salad too. The word “salad” is rooted in the use of salt to flavor veggies.