I had a random head of cabbage and carton of extra firm tofu on hand in the refrigerator today. You may or may not have found yourself in a similar predicament at some point. Even if not, I think you’ll enjoy hearing what I did with this ingredient odd couple.
On its own, cabbage is a far from exciting vegetable. Asparagus, broccolini, brussels sprouts, even cauliflower are all vegetables with some spunk. Cabbage? Not so much…The plus side of being so bland, is that cabbage makes for an excellent spice vehicle and can absorb just about any flavor you’d like. The flavor of the day, as it so often is in my house, was Sriracha. Not just any Sriracha, though, Sriracha barbecue. Trader Joe’s demoed their new take on BBQ sauce in the store last week and I couldn’t help but bring it home. Today’s cabbage stir fry seemed like a good opportunity to try it out.
- Medium sized head of cabbage (if you’re feeling lazy, you could get away with 2 bags of pre-shredded cabbage)
- 1.5 teaspoons of grapeseed oil (if you don’t have grapeseed, olive oil or canola will do)
- Carton of tofu (roughly 19 oz)
- 1 bowl of hot salt water
- 1/4 cup Sriracha BBQ Sauce (I used Trader Joe’s version, but if you can’t find it or aren’t near one, you can use 1/4 cup BBQ sauce with 1-2 tablespoons of Sriracha)
- 3 tablespoons of Bragg’s liquid amino acids (soy sauce or Tamari is an acceptable alternative but both are saltier, so I’d cut down to 2 Tbsp)
- 1/2-1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
Step 1: Pre-treat your tofu
I recently learned that pre-treating my tofu with hot salt water makes for a crispier, firmer consistency. After draining your tofu and cubing it into 1 inch sections, place it in a bowel of hot salted water for 15 minutes. When the 15 minutes are up, drain the tofu and pat it dry.
Step 2: Prep your cabbage
Shred your head of cabbage. I quartered my cabbage and then chopped each section into 1/2 inch strips. Of course, if you’re starting with pre-shredded cabbage, you can skip this step.
Step 3: Stir frying the cabbage
Drizzle 1/2 teaspoon of grapeseed oil into your skillet on medium high heat and gradually add in your cabbage (I added mine in 3 portions, waiting for the heat to wilt each portion to make room for the next). After adding each third of the cabbage, drizzle in a teaspoon of Bragg’s amino acids. The Bragg’s helps the cabbage to soften. Once all the cabbage is in the pan, you can add in your cayenne to taste. Keep an eye on the skillet and continue to cook on medium heat until the cabbage is soft, but still has a bite, or about 10 minutes.
Step 4: Fry the tofu
You’ll need 1 teaspoon of grapeseed oil in a hot skillet, preferably cast iron. Place your tofu into the skillet and cook until browned, approximately 5 minutes. Next, pour in the spicy barbecue sauce and toss to coat.
Step 5: Assemble and eat
Lay a bed of spicy cabbage in your bowl and top with your barbecued tofu. That’s it! All in all, I was done within 30 minutes and the flavor was worth every second.