Upon moving back to the Mid West 2 years ago Eddie & I began to enjoy what we used to call “Wor Su Gai Friday.” We were both acclimating to Ohio during one of the harshest Winter’s we could imagine. Sub zero temperatures with wind-chills near -30. It was a little different from our Dallas Winters.
The flavors we’d bring home from The Happy Dragon in German Village were things we could not find in Texas. This style of food reminds us both of a particularly snowy Christmas where we drove to my home town of Marion for brunch with my parents. On the way back to Columbus we stopped for take out near our home in Victorian Village. It’s that box of take out I think of when I have a craving for Americanized Asian food to this day.
Tonight was my first attempt to recapture some of those flavors, aromas and memories with a little less of the bad for you combinations found in this type cuisine. As usual these days; I used canola oil, and less of it, than the recipe cited in addition to lite soy sauce. The end product was really delicious and, while not fat free, pretty darn close to the less bad for you coordinates.
I felt like I reclaimed a little of my flavor real estate with this recipe.
And there it is. While it’s good to be strict in order to achieve your goals, survival or not, it’s also good to remember a Christmas Day from a couple decades ago. Making new memories over dinner and another movie replay with Eddie in the middle of the work week… in the middle of Fall… as everything continues to evolve and move around us like a big lovely blur of light, sound, thought, action and dreams.
- 1 pound fresh Chinese noodles
- 1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
- 1/4 cup molasses
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 4 large shallots, 2 minced and 2 sliced thin
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 teaspoons sambal oelek
- 14 ounces extra-firm tofu, cut into 1-inch cubes
- Salt and pepper
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 5 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 pound bok choy, stalks and greens separated and sliced 1/2 inch thick
- 4 scallions, sliced thin on bias
- Lime wedges
- Bring 4 quarts water to boil in large pot. Add noodles and cook, stirring often, until tender. Drain noodles and set aside.
- Whisk sugar, molasses, and soy sauce together in bowl. In separate bowl, combine minced shallots, garlic, and sambal oelek.
- Spread tofu over paper towel-lined baking sheet and let drain for 20 minutes. Gently pat tofu dry with paper towels, season with salt and pepper, then toss with cornstarch in bowl. Transfer coated tofu to strainer and shake gently over bowls to remove excess cornstarch. Heat 3 tablespoons oil in 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-heat heat until just smoking. Add tofu and cook, turning as needed, until crisp and browned on all sides, 8 to 10 minutes; transfer to bowl.
- Add 1 tablespoon oil to now-empty skillet and heat until shimmering. Add sliced shallots and cook until golden, about 5 minutes; transfer to paper towel-lined plate.
- Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil to now-empty skillet and heat until shimmering. Add bok choy stalks and cook until crisp-tender, about 3 minutes. Clear center of skillet, add garlic mixture, and cook, mashing mixture into skillet until fragrant, about 30 seconds; stir into vegetables.
- Stir in noodles, tofu, bok choy leaves, and scallions. Whisk sauce to recombine, add to skillet and cook, stirring constantly, until sauce is thickened, 1 to 2 minutes. Serve with lime wedges.