TIP: See below for video!
2 Tablespoons peanut (or other favourite) oil
3 shallots, peeled and finely minced
1 block tofu, cubed to about 1/2″
1/4 cup tapioca starch
1 large bunch bok choi, leaves and stems separated and pieces chopped into bite-size pieces
1 teaspoon salt
1/2-3/4 cups homemade oyster sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
3-4 Tablespoons tapioca starch
If you want to serve this dish over rice vermicelli (my favourite), some other shape of rice noodles, rice (white or brown, whichever you prefer), or some other favourite carb, start it first.
- Cube your corn-free tofu, and coat it with tapioca starch plus salt and pepper to taste.
- Mince (dice very finely) shallots
- Separate bok choi stems from leaves, and chop them both into chopstick-friendly pieces
- Heat oil to medium-high heat, or high heat if you are using a real wok
- Sauté shallots until lightly golden
- Add coated tofu and stir-fry until golden and coated well with shallots — turn down the heat if it sticks too much and looks like it might burn
- Remove tofu from pan/wok and set aside
- Add more oil to pan, and sauté bok choi stems until they look done as you like them — less time for crunchy, a little more time for softer — around 5 to 10 minutes
- Add leaves and cover to get them to wilt, again, to your preference — 5 to 10 minutes
- Add tofu back in and mix well
- Add oyster sauce, sesame oil, and, if needed, a little more salt (make sure you taste it first so you don’t accidentally over-do it); if you need to punch the flavour up a bit (so much depends on the strength of your oyster sauce), add a little soy sauce, but hopefully you won’t need it
- If you like a thick sauce, like you would get in a restaurant, add in some tapioca starch and mix well — try a couple of Tablespoons at first, and add more until you get it the way you like it
Serve over whatever base you picked (e.g. rice vermicelli), and enjoy!
- OYSTER SAUCE: I’ve not yet found a single one in fifteen years of searching that is completely corn- and wheat-free. I make my own (recipe here: http://www.lifeaftercorn.com/oyster-sauce/).
- BROTH: Same-old, same-old: choose carefully, or make your own.
- SOY SAUCE: If you decide to use it, make sure it is both corn- and wheat-free. I’ll post a link to a good option that’s getting quite easy to find soon, so stay tuned.
- TOFU: Ensure there is no glucono-delta-lactone in your tofu, aka GDL. That ingredient comes from corn. The simpler your tofu, the better. For this reason, you’ll probably find that firm or extra-firm are your best options.
- SWEETENER: Most commercial sauces, oyster sauce included, contain some amount of sugar/sweetener in them. If you find that “something” is lacking from what you are used to before avoiding corn etc., try adding a Tablespoon or so of brown sugar, cane sugar, or some other kind of sweetener that works for you, and see if that makes the difference. I used to do this at the beginning, years ago, but now I much prefer it without.
I rarely get to cook with shallots, onions, garlic, etc., so this dish is a rare and much-loved treat when my husband is away! You are welcome to add garlic if you like — I’ve learned to love it just as it is. You could tinker with it a little, too, and see if there are any other vegetables that taste great in here, too. If you come up with a winning “tweak,” post it in the comments! I love new ideas.