Vinaigrette Seared Baby Bok Choy & Tofu with Avocado and Roasted Sesame Cashews

When I first saw this recipe, it struck me as such a beautiful dish that I knew I had to try it. And, well, let’s face it, it has avocado on it, so how could it be bad? But, the fresh combination of flavors and textures, as well as the fabulous presentation, just totally inspired me.

Vinaigrette Seared Baby Bok Choy & Tofu with Avocado and Roasted Sesame Cashews

I wanted the dish to be more of a main course than a salad, so I added the carrots and the tofu. Red bell pepper would also be a great addition. I decided I wanted the bok choy and the tofu to be seared, again more of a hot main dish.

Everything in this dish works together to create a beautiful and healthy flavorful meal. The dressing’s a bit spicy with the creamy avocado working to balance it. The crunchy seared bok choy balances the soft texture of the tofu. The bitterness of the bok choy is offset by the slightly sweet dressing and the sweet carrots. The sesame-cashews add a wonderfully fun crunchy texture. And the colors of the dish are just gorgeous.

I’m really happy with the result of a fresh healthy main dish. Thanks so much to The Cafe Sucre Farine for a wonderful inspiring salad.

Vinaigrette Seared Baby Bok Choy & Tofu with Avocado and Roasted Sesame Cashews

Sweet Soy Vinaigrette Seared Baby Bok Choy & Tofu with Avocado and Roasted Sesame Cashews
Adapted from The Café Sucre Farine
Serves 4 as a starter course or 2 as a main course

For Roasted Cashews:
½ cup cashews
2 tablespoons sesame seeds, white or black
½ teaspoon olive oil
¼ teaspoon coarse sea salt

Preheat oven to 350˚ F. Combine the cashews and sesame seeds in a small baking pan. Add olive oil and sea salt and bake for 10-15 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes until cashews are golden brown.

For Dressing:
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon light brown sugar or maple syrup
2 tablespoons soy sauce
¼ teaspoon dried ginger
½ teaspoon toasted sesame oil
1 teaspoon Chili-Garlic Sauce

Combine all dressing ingredients in a jar with a tight-fitting lid. Close the lid, and shake until sugar is dissolved, and all ingredients are mixed well.

1 (8-ounce) package extra firm tofu, drained and rinsed
6-8 baby bok choy bunches, cleaned and sliced in half lengthwise
1 carrot, peeled and chopped
2 tablespoons red onion, chopped
1 avocado, peeled and cored then diced into ½-inch pieces

Cut the tofu into ½–inch slices. Layer your cutting board with a clean cotton towel and three layers of paper towels. Place tofu slices on top of the towels. Place a layer of three more paper towels on top of tofu, and cover with another cotton towel. Carefully place another cutting board or cookie sheet on top of the towels. Stack something heavy on top of the board, like a cast iron skillet, a large can of beans, heavy bowl or other weight to press down on tofu. Let sit for at least fifteen minutes, and up to one hour. Pressing the tofu will help it absorb more flavor.

Marinate the tofu in the dressing for at least 15 minutes or even up to overnight.

Heat a large non-stick pan over medium high heat. Once the pan is hot, add the marinated tofu, and cook until a nice golden brown crust forms. Turn tofu over and continue to cook until the second side is also nicely browned, about 5 minutes per side.

While tofu cooks, add halved bok choy, cut side down, to the same pan (if there’s room and the pan isn’t too crowded, otherwise, work in batches). Sear bok choy until golden brown edges develop.

Place chopped carrot in a microwave safe bowl and add 1 tablespoon water. Cover and microwave for 1 minute until softened. Drain.

Optional, sear the carrot and red onion pieces in the pan to develop small charred edges.

Arrange seared bok choy and tofu on serving plates. Scatter with carrot, red onion, and avocado. Drizzle with dressing, and scatter roasted sesame-cashews around the plates. Serve and enjoy!

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  1. Debi says

  2. says

    Hello! I saw your post over at Ella’s Potluck, and I must say your dish caught my eye, what a beautiful meal. I was just at the grocery store admiring the baby bok choy but for the life of me couldn’t think how to use it – well you anwsered that question, I am totally making this in the near future!

  3. says

    Wow, this salad looks amazing! I am so glad that you shared this recipe with us on Fit and Fabulous Fridays! I hope to have you back this weekend. :)

  4. says

    What a beautiful dish! I love the addition of avocado. Thanks for linking to the Tofu linky. The posts you’ve shared will be very helpful to our readers, I’m sure :)


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