March 2, 2010

Udon with Napa Cabbage, Shiitake Mushrooms and Tofu

Last time I went to the supermarket, most of my staple veggies were looking less than prime, so I looked around and saw some very healthy looking napa cabbage instead. I've never cooked with napa cabbage before, so I looked around on the internet for some ideas. There were a lot of salads, slaws, etc. which is all well and good, but I definitely wanted a hot meal, so I decided to make this udon dish (which I've done before with bok choi) and hope for the best. And it came out really well!

1 head napa cabbage, quartered, cored, and thinly sliced
12 oz shiitake mushrooms, stems removed, sliced
1 package firm tofu, cut into 1/4-1/2 inch think rectangles
1 package fresh udon noodles
soy sauce
black bean sauce
tomato pickle
rice vinegar

In a large, flat bottomed skillet, heat olive oil and sesame oil adding up to about 1 Tbsp. Once the skillet is hot, place the tofu onto the skillet in one layer and leave to fry. Keep an eye on these while you start the next step. Turn them once they are fired and golden on the first side.
In a large wok, heat about the same amount of oils as in the skillet, and add the shiitakes once the wok is hot. Toss them so that most or all of the slices are lightly coated with oil. Once the mushrooms have heated a little, add a bit of soy sauce, a drizzle of molasses, a spoonful of black bean sauce, and a spoonful of tomato pickle to the shiitakes; stir. If the tofu is done by now, add it to the wok, then add the udon, and toss it all together. Or do the reverse (order isn't important). Once the udon are coated with the with the sauce and juices, add the cabbage. Pour in some vinegar and more soy sauce, to taste. Stir everything together, and add about a cup of water. Cover the wok to steam the cabbage, 5-8 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Serve with a drizzle of sriracha, to taste.

In conclusion, I'm very glad the napa cabbage was the only good looking veggie at the supermarket last week, because it was a great success. However, this dish is equally good with bok choi.

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