Mollie Katzen's Chile Cabbage
with Shiitakes, Sweet Crisp Onions & Tofu
This recipe is an excerpt from the book, The Vegetable Dishes I Can't Live Without, by Mollie Katzen.
A three-stage cooking process (same pan, no cleaning in between) allows each ingredient to reach optimal texture and maximum flavor.
2 to 3 tablespoons canola or peanut oil
16 medium stiitake mushrooms (about 10 ounces) stemmed and very thinly sliced
2 medium jalapeños, cut into thin rounds
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 cups cut green cabbage (1-inch "squares")
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoons Chinese-style dark sesame oil (plus extra)
1 1/2 coarsely chopped onions (3/4-inch "squares")
10 ounces very firm tofu
- Place a large, deep skillet over medium heat. After about a minute, add 1 tablespoon of the oil and swirl to coat the pan. Add the mushrooms and stir-fry over medium-high heat for 5 minutes. Stir in the jalapeños, plus 1/8 teapoon of the salt, and cook, stirring frequently, for 5 to 8 minutes longer, or until the mushrooms are very limp.
- Push the mushrooms and jalapeños to one side of the pan, then add another tablespoon of oil to the exposed surface, followed by the cabbage and another 1/8 teaspoon of the salt.
- Keeping the heat medium-high, stir-fry the cabbage only for about 3 minutes, then mix in the sidelines mushrooms and jalapeños. Spread out the mixture, cover the pan, and let it steam (okay if it scorches slightly) for about 5 minutes. Scrape the bottom of the pan and mix intermittently.
- In a small bowl, combine the soy sauce, vinegar, and sesame oil, then pour this in. Mix well, cover, and continue to cook over low heat for another 5 to 8 minutes, or until done to your liking. Transfer to a serving bowl and set aside.
- Without cleaning it, return the pan to the stove over medium heat. Wait about a minute, then add a little oil and swirl to coat the pan. Turn up the heat to high and flash-cook the onions, shaking the pan, for only about 1 to 2 minutes, or until the onions become shiny and golden on the edges but are still crunchy. Add these to the cabbage mixture in the bowl.
- Return the uncleaned pan to the medium heat one more time, wait another minute, add another little but of oil, and swirl to coat the pan. Add the tofu in a single layer (okay if touching) and cook undisturbed for about 5 minutes on each side, or until crisp and deep golden brown. Toss into the cabbage mixture and serve. Pass around the sesame oil, so people can add a little extra, if they wish.
Makes 4 to 6 servings.
Excerpt from The Vegetable Dishes I can't Live Without, by Mollie Katzen. Copyright (c) 2007 Tante Malka Inc. All rights reserved. Published by Hyperion.