Pan-fried Tofu with Chinese Cabbage and Green Onions: #Remipe for a healthy heart, weight loss and m
This is one of the remipes I get the most ‘likes’ for on Instagram. It also receives a lot of comments such as “it’s all about gut health”, “Beautiful!” and “Amazing”. It was a pleasant surprise for me to get such a great reaction from such a simple dish.
I guess tofu has earned its popularity thanks to the many known health benefits it boasts, such as lowering levels of bad cholesterol (LDL), alleviating unpleasant symptoms of menopause and assisting with weight loss. Tofu is a good source of protein with few calories and contains all eight essential amino acids (great for vegans). It is also an excellent source of iron, calcium, selenium and magnesium, all of which assist our well-being greatly.
I grew up in Korea where tofu is a staple of our diet. It’s cheap and readily available. It’s such a common ingredient to Koreans, perhaps equivalent to potatoes for people on a Western diet, and they eat it so often without even realising they are doing something special for their health by doing so.
It has the subtle taste of soy beans and soaks up the flavour of any dish like a sponge. It can be a bit of an acquired taste though - especially if you haven’t had it done well. Pierre-Francis, my French husband, did not like tofu in the early days of our relationship, claiming “it has no taste.” But now he absolutely loves it after experiencing a variety of my dishes.
There are 4 types of tofu: hard, medium-hard, soft and liquid tofu. They have varying degrees of moisture and each has its own distinctive texture and flavour. People choose different types of tofu depending on the dishes they cook. For pan-frying, I like to use medium-hard tofu, since it's pleasantly soft and moist but still holds the shape well when cooked.
500g medium-hard tofu, sliced about 1cm thick and pat-dried
3 leaves Chinese cabbage (wombok), thinly sliced
2 green onions, sliced
3 tablespoons canola oil
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons Mirin (Japanese cooking wine, substitute with white wine if not available)
Heat a frying pan over high heat and add a tablespoon of canola oil. Stir-fry Chinese cabbage and green onions with a pinch of salt and pepper for a minute or until wilted. Set aside.
Add another tablespoon of canola oil to the same pan over a medium-high heat. Add the first batch of tofu and cook for 2 minutes or until golden brown. Turn over tofu and cook the other side. Set aside and repeat for the remaining tofu.
When all tofu is cooked, place it all back in the same pan and add soy sauce, maple syrup, Mirin, salt and pepper. Braise it for 2 minutes or until the sauce is slightly thickened with a slight gloss.
Add Chinese cabbage and green onions back into the pan with tofu and cook for another minute or until warmed through.
Serve with a bowl of brown rice.
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