Napa Cabbage & Tofu Bowl

I have eaten a lot of tofu in my life- some of it great, some of it mediocre- but the tofu in this recipe has to be in the top 3 that I have ever eaten. In this recipe, we sauté napa cabbage and then cook the tofu in the same pan immediately afterwards. Cooking the tofu in the remnant liquid from the cabbage gives it a depth of flavour that can be hard to achieve with tofu. 

This recipe was inspired by something my sister made for me while visiting. She made us Korean Beef Bowls for dinner one night and I loved the components of the dish and decided to do a spin-off using different ingredients. This makes a delicious weeknight dinner and does not require an intensive clean up, let me know what you think! 

Active time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 45 minutes

Ingredients: 

Rice

  • 1 ½ cups dry brown rice
  • 2 tbsp rice vinegar
  • ½ tbsp sesame oil

Tofu

  • 1 Block of extra firm tofu
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • 2 cloves garlic, pressed
  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • ½ tbsp sriracha

The rest

  • 1 small napa cabbage
  • 2 large carrots
  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 2 tbsp coconut sugar
  • 2 tbsp Sriracha
  • 2 tbsp sesame seeds
  • 1 bunch green onions, finely chopped
  • Neutral oil, for cooking
  • Salt

Directions:

  1. Cook the brown rice using the preferred cooking method. Once the rice is cooked, stir in  the rice vinegar and the sesame oil and set aside until ready to eat. 
  2. Prepare the tofu: Press the tofu for 15 minutes to drain the liquid. While it drains, combine the sauce ingredients in a shallow container: soy sauce, garlic, rice vinegar, sesame oil and Sriracha. Once the tofu has been pressed, crumble it using a fork by scraping away at the sides until it breaks off. Marinate the tofu until ready to cook. 
  3. Either using a mandoline or a knife, shave the cabbage into thin strips. Afterwards, cut the carrots into ultra thin rounds; we will be topping the completed dish with these carrots. 
  4. Heat up a large cast iron skillet on medium heat. Add a splash of neutral oil to the bottom of the pan, then add in the cabbage. The pan will be very full, but the cabbage will shrink quickly. Add the rice vinegar, coconut sugar, Sriracha and sesame seeds to the cabbage and toss. Sauté for 5-6 minutes and set aside in a bowl. The cabbage may have some liquid at the bottom– pour this off. 
  5. Now, turn the heat up to medium high and add in another splash of neutral oil. Add in the tofu and cook, stirring occasionally until browned, 6-7 minutes. Add in the green onion and combine. 
  6. Plate your bowl; begin with a nice base of rice followed by the cabbage then the tofu. Finish off with some thinly sliced carrots and enjoy while hot. 

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