bok choy + beans szechuan style

You can’t tell but I am doing the happy garden dance! Today I harvested a mountain of baby bok choy, and it’s my first real veggie of the season. Sure I have been snipping herbs and crest and snacking on tiny micro greens but TODAY I got out the knife and really harvested some substantial veg! YEAH!

To honor the first veggie of the year I adorned it in deep and intense szechuan spices and served it with fresh green beans, seared tofu and peanuts. Yumm. I have been pumping out some killer meals around here feeding the masses of permaculture interns and visitors and one of our interns who has enjoyed dozens and dozens and dozens of meals said that this just might be the best one so far! So, I will leave it at that.

This recipe isn’t quick or simple or straight forward, It involves a number of pans and various methods of cooking various things. But given the enjoyment to effort ratio is so high, I will certainly recommend you try this one out!

Start by cooking your favorite rice enough to serve 4

In a mortar and pestle grind together equal parts black pepper and szechuan pepper (about 1-2 tbsp each) We’ll call this “pepper blend” and use it through this recipe.

Then in a heavy bottomed cast iron pan quickly pan sear:

1/2 block of firm organic tofu cut into 1/2″ cubes

in organic veggie oil

Season with:

Sea salt and pepper blend and heavy pinch or two of each

a pinch of 5 spice

a hearty grating of ginger root

and a pinch of hot chili flakes

Once the tofu is browned on at least 2 sides, toss in 1.5 cups of peanuts (unsalted)

continue to toast and glaze with a drizzle (maybe 2 tbsp) of maple syrup

Once golden and seared remove from pan and set aside.

Using the same hot pan quickly fry:

3 handfuls of green beans (trimmed and halved)

in organic veggie oil

season with sea salt and pepper blend and cook for about 5 minutes

splash with rice vinegar (about 2 tbsp) toss, remove from pan and set aside

Now for the saucy bit:

In the same hot pan start to fry:

1 yellow onion chopped fine

2 celery stocks chopped fine

the stocks from 8 bok choy leaves (about 2 cups) chopped fine

4 garlic cloves chopped fine

3 tbsp freshly grated ginger root

5 chives finely diced

Once these have cooked for about 5 minutes season with the following:

sea salt and pepper blend

1 tbsp 5 spice

1 tbsp chili flakes

2 tbsp Peanut Butter

1/3 cup soy sauce

1/3 cup rice vinegar

1/3 cup sesame oil

1/3 cup chili oil

Stir and coat well then add

chopped leafy greens from the bok choy

coat these with sauce and allow to cook for 1 minute, before adding the cooked green beans, and tossing them in the thick sauce until well mixed. Serve this  over rice with tofu and peanuts garnishing the top.

Delicious happy green garden.

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