Over the past few weeks in China, D and I have spent more than our fair share of time in trains, train stations and the general vicinity. With the country so enormous we frequently have 12+ hour train rides every few days. Thankfully, China has an awesome train system with tons of routes, tons of seats and more or less on time service.
We did have one painful journey where we had to take the hard seats on a night train from Beijing to Xian (about a 12 hour ride).
Well more painful for D than for me I suppose. I had a table to lean my arms and head on and was able to sleep soundly after some help from Nyquil. D on the other hand had nothing to lean on and was left with a less than positive impression of the ride, as he was surrounded by loud noodle slurping, conversations and conductor announcements.
Unwilling to take the hard seats again and with the hard sleepers all sold out we splurged for the soft sleepers. A whole different experience indeed! With a closed compartment shared with one other well-to-do (judging from their collared shirts) couple we drifted to sleep and awoke in Shanghai.
No more spoiling ourselves though. Now it’s strictly the hard sleepers. With areas split up in 6 beds, 3-tired bunks on each side, by now I have tested out all the different shelves. Top bunk is significantly more claustrophobic than any of the others, though I suppose you get the most privacy.
All of our bunk neighbors have been friendly and we even ran into a couple on the street from a previous train ride. Small world. With no shared language we could simple exchange ear to ear smiles and hand waving.
That was the same train ride we went into hoping we would have the 6 bed compartment to ourselves. I mean we got lucky on the ferry from Japan to South Korea and had a 13 person room to ourselves so we thought this could be realistic too.
Instead we ended up 8 people in a 6 person compartment thanks to a mother and her two young children.
How to pass the time on all these trains? Cards, cards, cards. A perfect way to pass the time, and arouse the interest of all the Chinese people around you.
For everyone back home with your smart phones connected to the internet at all times, you can always pass the time with words with friends, sporkle or even playing bingo online, whatever suits you. For us, we’re limited to cards, but it hasn’t gotten old yet.
Well now that I’ve gotten that rant out, it’s time for a recipe. Today I share with you a tofu, mushroom and bok choy stir fry.
I just can’t get enough of the stir fries. They’re so simple to make, generally take minimal time and you can always get creative with the ingredients.
This time I came up with a winning combination. The more types of mushrooms the merrier too. And don’t skip out on the baby bok choy. This green vegetable is seriously adorable and even more delicious than all the other greens combined.
Like tempeh better than tofu? Not a problem, use that instead.
Watching your carbs? I’ve got you covered. This dish can be served or rice or noodles or just spoon it into a plate and eat directly. That’s exactly what I did so I know you’re not missing out.
- 1-2 teaspoons peanut oil
- 8 ounces tofu, cut into thin rectangular strips
- 4 ounces Shiitake mushrooms, stems removed, caps thinly sliced
- 2-4 ounces enoki mushrooms, root cut off
- 8 ounces baby bella or white mushrooms, halved and sliced
- 3-4 bulbs baby bok choy, sliced
- 1 tablespoon garlic
- 1 tablespoon ginger
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon sesame seeds (optional)
- 1 scallion, diced (optional)
- Heat wok over medium heat and add 1 teaspoon peanut oil.
- Cook tofu slices in single layer until browned on both sides. Continue until all tofu is browned. Add more oil if necessary. Remove tofu.
- Add sesame oil to wok and add baby bella mushrooms. Cook for a few minutes and remove.
- Add shiitake mushrooms to wok and cook for a few minutes then remove.
- Add enoki mushrooms to wok, cook for 2-3 minutes then add shiitake and baby bella mushrooms to the wok.
- Add garlic, ginger and baby bok choy and cook 2-3 minutes until bok choy slightly wilted. Add soy sauce and tofu back into the pan.
- Serve hot. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and chopped scallions (optional)