Veggie Broth, Crispy Tofu, Gai Lan
Watermelon Radish, Carrot, Bok Choy, Sesame Chili Oil
Have you received a copy of a food magazine in the mail with a cover photo that absolutely floors you? February 2018 Bon Appetit did that for me. There was no way that I wasn’t going to “Cook The Cover” and make that gorgeous Crispy Tofu in Shiitake Broth.
Alas, time passed and I didn’t make it. But, last Saturday’s trip to the Torrance Farmers Market gave me the inspiration…it came from a vegetarian Korean food booth called Dave’s Gourmet Korean Food with a sample of his hot “Vegee Broth.” It was amazing – complex flavors in a vegetarian broth made with fermented vegetable juice, sea salt, low sodium gluten-free soy sauce, and miso.
As I walked the market, watermelon radish and bok choy remembered from that February magazine cover ended up in my basket. I already had carrots and firm tofu at home.
One ingredient that is not in Bon Appetit’s recipe was beautiful Gai Lan, also known as Chinese broccoli. Slightly bitter and slightly sweet, with tasty broad leaves, petite buds, a few pretty white flowers, and tender stems – this had to be added to my version of the vegetable soup.
Here is the link to the original recipe by Bon Appetit, and my adaptations are listed below. Those in the Los Angeles area can find Dave’s Vegee Broth at various Farmers Markets across the county. If you are not in LA, simply follow the original broth recipe. It will take a little longer but be, no doubt, worth your time.
Veggie Broth, Crispy Tofu, Gai Lan Recipe
- extra firm tofu
- canola oil
Dry the block of tofu with paper towels. Slice into squares. Fry tofu in a non-stick pan in canola oil until crispy on both sides. Remove to paper towels and set aside.
- Dave’s vegee broth
- carrots, sliced thin
- bok choy, chopped
- gai lan, trimmed and chopped
- watermelon radish, sliced thin
In a soup pot or wok, bring broth to a boil. Lower the heat to medium and add carrots. When carrots are soft, add bok choy. After two minutes, add gai lan and radish. Cook a few minutes longer to soften, but don’t over cook. Add tofu just to heat through.
Ladle soup into bowls. Drizzle with sesame chili oil.
Cook the cover!