Napa Cabbage and tofu sticks

The end of the year is almost here.  This year was the 175th anniversary of St. Anns’s Episcopal  church in the South Bronx.  It is listed on the National Register of Historic places. It was completed in 1840 by the Morris Family  many of whom are interred in the church. They owned about 2000 acres right where Jonas Bronk once lived as well as part of New Jersy. Lewis Morris, a founding father, signed the  U.S. Declaration of Indpendence and his son, Governeur Morris, was a signatory of the Articles of Confederation and took part in the Phiadelphia Convention where he and Benjamian Franklin spoke out against slavery.  He was a firm believer in a strong central government and has been given credit for being the writer of the final version of our consititution. He is also know as a staunch supporter and aid to Washington and the continental army for helping raise funds.

 

This is a Napa Cabbage which I have  never seen in a typical grocery store.  I  have to admit I’ve done very little shopping in main stream grocery stores since deciding to go vegan two and a half years ago.  Even if you have never seen one, you’ve probably eaten it.  It is a main ingredient in Chinese dumplings, Kimchi, and stir- fry.  There are two types — the short squat one picture above and an elongated one. I buy the short one because is has more green leaves.   I use the leaves for this dish and the bottoms I put into soup. Napa Cabbage and tofu is one of my wife’s favorite meals. Our usual  dinner meal consists of a large green salad, a small bowl of greens or a small bowl of soup, and then the main course.

There are only 7 everyday ingredients in this dish.

a 19 oz package of tofu

a Napa cabbage

Onions Garlic Gnger
Onions Garlic Ginger

one medium chopped onion

3-4 cloves of garlic, chopped

2 tbsp. grated ginger

cooking oil. I use Safflower.

Open and rinse the tofu. Place the four squares on a plate, cover with a dish and microwave for 7 minutes.  When it finishes let is sit there in the mricowave and let it cool a bit. It will stay hot for a long time. Take the dish of tofu out of the microwave. Drain the water.

Tofu sticks
Place a cutting board on top of the tofu and balance a heavy weight, like a 5lb canister of flour, on the cutting board. You want to press all the water out of the tofu. When it is hot, the tofu easily gives up all the water.  After it cools, slice each cake in half and then into thin strips. Lay them length-wise on a strip of paper towels and roll them up and put them aside. When finished drying put them on a plate.

Thinly slice the Napa cabbage starting from the top down to the red rubber band you see at the top of the post. Save the bottoms for some other use.  You should have a colander full of cabbage.

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Now you are ready to cook. I use a 12 -inch non-stick pan.  Put the oil in the pan at medium heat. When hot, put in the onion, ginger, and garlic.  Cook that until it just starts to brown. Add half of the tofu. It will fill the pan. Let it sit for a few minutes. Then with a fork or chop sticks turn it over. It will start to brown and shrink. Now you can add the rest of the tofu. Cook until all the tofu is mostly brown on all sides. As it browns, you can flip the strips with a spatula. When they are done slide them out onto a plate.image

Now fill the pan with half of the cabbage. You can add a little salt. The cabbage will wilt quickly. When it wilts down, add the tofu sticks. Put the rest of the cabbage on top and let it wilt. Stir with the spatula. Keep cooking until it all cooks down. I serve this with long grain brown jasmine rice.

 

Thinly sliced Napa cabbage
Thinly sliced Napa cabbage

 

 

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