When I woke up this morning, I knew I wanted to make this tofu dish, without my daily struggle of wondering what to eat. The first time I had this dish was back in my 5th grade, visiting a friend and his grandma made it for lunch. It was a hot summer and this spicy dish really increased my appetite. The tofu has a crispy exterior while remains quite juicy inside. The cabbage leaves hang onto all the spicy taste and give you a tingly sensation, which makes you want to bite more tofu! “With this dish I don’t need meat anymore.” That was my comment. It must have left a deep impression on me. Well, if I could remember anything from my childhood, food would probably take up a large portion. So, let’s say if I can recreate that experience.
Ingredients (Serves 2, serve hot):
- a box of Firm Tofu, 1/3 of a Chinese Cabbage, chopped
- some shredded ginger and chopped green onion, two dried red peppers, 3 to 5 peppercorns
- soy sauce 1.5 tbsp, cooking oil 2.5 tbsp
- some salt and sugar (add to taste)
1. In a frying pan, heat oil over medium heat. Fry until golden on both sides. This may take a while. So be patient and turn over the tofu from time to time. Then set aside the tofu but leave the cooking oil. (OK I’m cheating here. It’s a wok, not a pan. My frying pan is currently occupied by juicy mushrooms ;))
2. Add the peppercorns and gently stir for about 15 seconds. Get them out.
Add the shredded ginger and red peppers (crush them first). Set to high heat. Stir for 5 seconds.
Add the cabbages and green onions. Stir quickly. Once you see things begin drying up (in about 1 minutes), add the soy sauce and keep stirring for another 15 seconds.
3. Heat off. Add back the tofu. Add salt and sugar to taste and stir for another 30 seconds. You are all set.
Honestly I can’t tell if this dish tastes the same as the one I had before. I’m not talking about the taste but more about feeling, more about the memory of a happy lunch in the past. While I was getting a bit nostalgic, my wife pulled me back “Honey, I’m lucky to have you!” as she finished the last piece of tofu and put down her chopsticks. Well there it is, another memory about a happy lunch 🙂