Cabbage and Tofu Chanpuru

Today marks the start of my fifth year in Japan, and since school is out and there won’t be a School Lunch post this week, I thought it only proper to revisit my very first blog post on More Things Japanese.  Back then I did a recipe for Goya Chanpuru.  Today, I bring you another, more common version of this Okinawan favorite.

Ingredients

  • Small block of Tofu cut into large cubes
  • 1 small cabbage
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 onion
  • 1 green pepper (or several small ones)
  • bean sprouts (about a large handful)
  • Mushrooms (1 package)
  • Meat (SPAM, sausage, or pork work well)
  • 1 packet of dashi
  • 1 tbsp powdered garlic
  • black pepper
  • 2tbsp soy sauce
  • 2tbsp Vegetable oil

Recipe

Prepare your vegetables.  Peel a carrot, then use the peeler to shave the outside down.  You don’t need to use the core.  Slice the onions and green peppers.  Wash and rinse bean sprouts and cabbage.

Remove the cabbage’s outer leaves.  Wash the cabbage, then remove the core and slice roughly.  Place a large skillet or wok on high and add about 2tbsp vegetable oil.  Add the cabbage.  Let the cabbage cook, stirring occasionally until it just begins to wilt.  Add the other vegetables (not the sprouts).  Continue cooking until the cabbage cooks down enough to make room for the sprouts.  Add the bean sprouts and continue cooking.

Add a touch of black pepper,  meat, and tofu.  Cook about a minute, then season with garlic powder and dashi.  Try to keep the water at the bottom of the pan to a minimum since you want fried vegetables instead of boiled vegetables.  Tilt the pan while pushing back the veggies in order to let the heat focus on the liquid.  Add soy sauce.  Let the soy sauce mix with the rest of the liquid and evaporate a bit, then return the pan and stir well.  Continue stirring occasionally until all the vegetables are thoroughly cooked, but not soggy.

Serve and enjoy.