If Loving Bok Choy is Wrong, I Don’t Want to be Right

I love bok choy.

I love it in stir fries, I love it in soups, I love it sauteed up with a little sesame oil. I don’t love it raw, but I love it lightly cooked so it’s crunchy and juicy and satisfying.

Yakisoba is one of the many ways I love to cook bok choy.

This recipe is a favorite at our house. My kids love it and just tear into it as soon as I put the bowl in front of them.

It’s yet another recipe that originates from Feeding the Whole Family by Cynthia Lair. I’ve made a few changes, including serving it over brown rice rather than soba noodles, using chicken broth/stock instead of water, and doubling it, but it’s essentially her recipe. If you’re avoiding gluten, be sure to get 100% buckwheat soba noodles (a little pricier than the regular ones) or substitute brown rice.

The version below is the doubled version. Cut in half if you’ve got a smaller family and/or don’t like leftovers.

Bok Choy and Buckwheat Noodles in Seasoned Broth (aka Yakisoba)

Reprinted (modified) from Feeding the Whole Family by Cynthia Lair (Sasquatch Books, 2008) www.cookusinterruptus.com

Prep time: about 30 minutes

Serves 8 (or 4 with plenty of leftovers for lunch the next day)

Ingredients:

1 pound soba noodles, prepared according to package directions (or 1.5 cups brown rice cooked in 3 cups water)

4 T toasted sesame oil

1 large onion, cut into thin half-moons

4 to 6 cloves garlic, pressed or minced

2 to 4 carrots, cut into matchsticks

10 shiitake mushrooms, cut into bite-sized pieces

8 c water or broth (I use 4 c broth and 4 c water)

2/3 c tamari (wheat-free if you want this dish to be gluten-free)

1 pound firm tofu, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

2 T freshly grated ginger

1 bunch bok choy, rinsed and chopped

4 scallions, sliced thin for garnish

Heat oil in a 4-quart pot. Add onion and garlic; saute over medium heat until onion begins to soften. Add carrot and mushroom pieces; saute a few minutes more. Add water, tamari, tofu, and ginger. Bring heat up until mixture begins to simmer. Cover and let simmer for 10 minutes. Add bok choy and simmer until leaves are bright green.

Serve this dish by placing a handful of noodles or scoop of rice in each serving dish. Ladle broth and vegetables over the noodles/rice. Garnish with scallions.

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