One thing that I really miss about living in New England is apple picking. Every year, on some random Fall day with chilly air and a brilliantly blue sky, my friends and I would go visit an orchard. Armed with paper bags and little kids in wagons, we’d wander down the aisles of twisted trees, laden with big round apples. Their colors would range from grass green to deep, wine reds, varying wildly in flavor and texture, but always juicy and crisp, better than anything you could find in the grocery store. An apple off the tree is pure magic.
And kids in wagons? Come on.
This is a photo from one of my favorite apple picking adventures. My best friend’s kiddo picked his first apple that day, with just a little help from his Mom. My sister, Heather, caught a fuzzy caterpillar, and I ate so many apples I thought I might just die. In other words, it was a perfect Autumn day in New England.
So, it was with a sentimental heart that I dug into my apple stash for dinner last week. Bok choy (and all cabbages) can be a little skunky or bitter, so combining it with the sweet flavor of apple makes good sense. It will take the edge off for the cabbage haters in your family, and add a little something extra to an otherwise ordinary bowl of noodles. I used a Honeycrisp apple for my recipe. I’d recommend something sweet and tart, like a macintosh or a gala if you can’t find a honeycrisp near you.
- 8 ounces Noodles (Udon, Buckwheat, or Rice Noodles)
- 1 batch Ginger Garlic Tofu with marinade reserved
- 1 tablespoon Sesame Oil
- 1 tablespoon cooking oil (Grapeseed, Peanut, or Coconut)
- 1 head Bok Choy, chopped (whites and greens separated)
- 1 large Apple, sliced (or two little ones)
- 1 bunch Scallions, chopped
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch mixed with 1 tablespoon cold water
- Cook noodles according to package instructions. After draining them, rinse them with cold water until they are no longer hot. Set aside.
- Prepare the Ginger Garlic Tofu, reserving the marinade for later.
- Heat a large skillet over medium. When hot, add the oils.
- Saute the white parts of the chopped bok choy for about four minutes, allowing them to brown a little on both sides.
- Add the sliced apple to the pan, and cook for four more minutes, browning the apple as well.
- Remove the apple and bok choy from the pan. You may want to add a dash more oil at this point.
- Saute the bok choy greens and scallions. Add one handful at a time, let it cook for a minute or so, then add the next handful. Repeat until all the greens have wilted.
- Remove the greens and scallions from the pan and set aside.
- Increase the heat on the pan to medium-high, then add the reserved marinade from the tofu. Whisk in the cornstarch slurry, then let the mixture come to a boil. Simmer in the pan for two minutes. The sauce should thicken immediately.
- Reduce the heat to low, then add back the apples and bok choy to the pan, followed by the noodles. Toss everything together.
- Turn off the heat, and immediately dish the noodles and veggies into bowls. Top each bowl with a portion of the tofu.
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