This Hakka dish is supposed to detox your body, clear up your digestive system, and improve your complexion. While I don’t subscribe to the idea of ‘detoxes’ and ‘cleanses’, I really do adore this dish. The green soup, packed with brimming handfuls of fresh herbs, is a bit like an Asian pesto. You flood it over the fluffy rice and vegetables, then swirl everything together and eat up. While traditionally each topping is fried separately, you can stir-fry them all together to save time – just remember to start with the carrots and green beans first, before adding the quicker-cooking leafier veggies to the pan.
Place the rice, vegetable stock and chicken-style seasoning (if using) in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Lower the heat, cover and simmer until the rice is cooked through, about 30–45 minutes.
Meanwhile, fry the toppings. Dry-fry the peanuts in a non-stick frying pan over medium heat until golden and fragrant, then set aside. Add a little oil to the pan and fry the tofu cubes until golden and slightly crisp, then set aside. Add a little bit more oil and a quarter of the garlic and fry for about a minute, until aromatic. Next, add the bok choy and cook until just wilted, then set aside. Repeat with the green beans, cabbage and carrots, frying them all separately with a quarter of the garlic.
To make the soup, pour the oil into a large non-stick frying pan over medium heat and fry the basil, mint and coriander leaves until they are beginning to wilt and soften, about 2–3 minutes. Add the peanuts and sesame seeds, and keep frying to lightly toast them. When you start to smell the aroma of the peanuts, and the greens have wilted completely, remove from the heat and tip the contents of the pan into a food processor or high-speed blender. Add the stock, ginger and salt, and blend to a smooth puree.
To serve, spoon some brown rice onto a plate. Place a little bit of the fried tofu, bok choy, green beans, cabbage and carrot around the rice, then serve with a small bowl of green soup and some of the roasted peanuts alongside. Before eating, pour the soup over the rice and toss well.
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