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Stir-Fried Baby Bok Choy with Red Peppers, Tofu and Black Beans

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Stir-Fried Baby Bok Choy with Red Peppers, Tofu and Black Beans

Stir-Fried Baby Bok Choy with Red Peppers, Tofu and Black Beans
New Media Publishing / Photography: Flat Art / Stylist: Abigail Donnelly
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total prep
This is a basic stir fry recipe with a lot of neat little techniques imbedded in it. Fermented black beans, for example add a near-meatiness to the dish; they're inexpensive and available in most Chinese markets in small cellophane bags that last a long time. The small amount of sugar in the recipe--sugar used, really, as sparingly as salt--really ignites the flavors. Marinating the tofu also adds a boost. As ever, for those wanting an undercurrent of heat in this dish, a small squirt of rooster sauce does the trick.


  • 2 tablespoons fermented black beans
  • white wine or warm water
  • 1/2 pound firm tofu, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 1 1/2 pounds baby bok choy
  • 1 red pepper, seeded and cut into 1/2-inch slivers
  • 2 tablespoons peanut or vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, peeled and minced
  • 1/2 cup vegetable stock or water
  • 1/4 cup minced scallions


  • Soak black beans in wine or water to cover.
  • In large bowl, make a marinade of 1 teaspoon sugar, 1 tablespoon soy sauce, 1 clove of minced garlic, ½ teaspoon salt, splash of white wine (optional) and 1 teaspoon sesame oil. After mixing, add tofu and stir to coat.
  • Roughly chop bok choy into 1” lengths so that stems and leaves are naturally separate.
  • Preheat large sauté pan or skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon peanut oil and raise heat to high. When oil begins to smoke, add remaining minced and ginger, stir quickly, then add bok choy stems. Cook, stirring, until stems softens, around 2 minutes, then add leaves. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute, then add tofu. Stir gently, then add stock or white wine and let it boil for a minute.
  • Add black beans and their liquid, scallions, and remaining sugar and soy sauce. Stir carefully and cook another minute. Drizzle with remaining sesame oil and serve--with rice, if desired.