The original recipe for the cabbage salad required a lot more time to prepare. It required you to cut cabbage and have it sit to drain the liquids. Not one to make something more complicated, I saved a lot of time by buying organic cabbage already shredded for cole slaw. You could probably save some more time by purchasing pre-shredded carrots. (But, I didn’t find any at my local organic store so I went ahead and shredded them myself on the grater.) With these easy substitutions, both the tofu and the cabbage salad were ready in no time.
Soy-glazed Tofu with Cabbage Salad, Kimchee Style
adapted from “A Year in the Vegetarian Kitchen”
1 package shredded cabbage
2 medium carrots, peeled and shredded on the large holes of a box grater (or pre-shredded carrots)
2 T rice vinegar
1 t toasted sesame oil
3 medium garlic cloves, minced (or 1 t crushed garlic)
1 T minced gingerroot (or 1 t ginger paste)
1 1/2 t hot red pepper flakes
2 T soy sauce
2 T water
2 T sugar
1 T canola oil
1 pound extra-firm or firm tofu, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick slabs and blotted dry between several layers of paper towels
Place the cabbage and shredded carrots in bowl.
Mix vinegar, sesame oil, garlic, ginger, and pepper flakes in another small bowl. Pour the dressing over the vegetables tossing with hands (or tongs) to combine.
Cover and refrigerate while you make the tofu. (Note: The original recipe said to let the flavors marinate for at least one hour and up to one day.)
For the tofu:
Mix soy sauce, water, and sugar in a small bowl. Stir to dissolve sugar.
Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat until simmering. Add the tofu and cook until golden brown, for about 5 to 7 minutes.
Flip tofu and cook until golden brown for about 5 minutes. Add the soy mixture to the pan and simmer. Flip the tofu once and let it simmer until the liquid reduces to a syrup and the tofu is glazed. About 2-3 minutes.
(Notice that the nice slices of tofu turned into little bits of tofu after I turned them a few times. I guess I was a too forceful in my flipping and caused the tofu to fall apart. No worries, the taste of the tofu bits were just as delicious as the full slices, I’m sure.)
Serve tofu with the cold cabbage salad.