Bok choy, also known as leafy Chinese-cabbage, is a nutrient dense food. It is an excellent cruciferous vegetable that helps prevent cancer. Although it’s best to eat vegetables raw, from time to time, it is nice to cook or steam them. This Asian-style bok choy soup is a complete healthy meal that tastes great and can be enjoyed all year round. For added flavour, sprinkle some roasted sesame seeds on top.
Bok choy soup
- Vegetable or sesame seed oil for frying/sautéing
- 350 grams firm natural tofu brick
- 3 or 4 bok choy heads
- 2-3 green onions or scallions, chopped fine
- 1 red or green jalapeño pepper, chopped fine. Options: remove seeds if you prefer less hot or don’t add a pepper if you prefer a mild flavour.
- 2 tablespoons (tbsps) ginger root, finely grated
- 4 cups veggie stock*
- 4 cups water
- 2 tbsps tamari or soya sauce (low sodium)
- 250 grams (3 cups) mung bean sprouts, rinsed
- 1 handful coriander leaves, rinsed and chopped
- Juice from 1 or 2 green limes (to get ¼ cup lime juice)
- ¼ tsp cardamon powder
- Pink salt and ground pepper, to taste
- Noodles of choice, cooked according to package
- Sesame seeds for sprinkling on top, dry roasted a few minutes in a pan
* Note: The trick for a good soup is the stock. For best results, I use homemade veggie stock that I usually store in my freezer. Alternatively, you can dissolve bouillon cubes in 4 cups of boiled water.
Rinse tofu under cold running water and pat dry with a cloth. If the brick is thick, slice it in two lengthwise (aim for 2 cm or 0.8 inch thick). Press the tofu for 15-30 minutes to eliminate moisture. Heat up a small nonstick pan with a tbsp of oil. Fry the tofu block(s) on medium-high heat for about 4 minutes on each side — or until golden brown. When done, slice the tofu into cubes and set aside.
Slice off the bok choy leaves from stems and rinse them out in a sieve. You can leave the leaves whole or slice them in two if they are very big. Set the leaves aside.
Chop the bok choy stems into fine slices, rinse them out in a sieve and set aside in a separate bowl.
In a big soup pot, heat 2 tablespoons of oil. Add the green onions, chili pepper, ginger and sauté until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add a little water if it sticks.
Add the veggie broth and water, stir and simmer uncovered for a few minutes. Then add the tofu cubes, bok choy stems and tamari or soya sauce. Gently stir and simmer with lid on for 5 minutes.
Add the bok choy leaves, mung bean sprouts, coriander, lime juice, cardamon, salt and pepper and simmer with lid on for another 5 minutes. Adjust tamari, salt and pepper.
Remove the pot from heat and let the soup marinate with lid on while you make the noodles in a separate pot.
Transfer cooked noodles to a serving platter and have your guests add their own portion to their soup bowl.
Sprinkle with roasted sesame seeds.