I’ve always been intimidated by Chinese cooking. We grew up with the occasional meal in a Chinese restaurant, and the meals always looked complicated to prepare. This meal can be ready in under an hour – great if you come home from work late and need to get dinner on the table quickly.
This is adapted from a wonderful book by Hsiao Chien (Kenneth) Lo called “New Chinese Vegetarian Cooking.” Originally published 26 years ago, our daughter found this slender book at a garage sale. Researching this post, I learned that Lo basically popularized Chinese cooking in Britain, publishing some 40 books. In addition, he was a tennis champion and entrepreneur.
Put some rice on to cook while you prepare this meal. Only two pots to wash afterwards. It tastes great and the cleanup is quick. What could be better?
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
1/2 tablespoon bean sauce (paste)
2 teaspoons chili sauce with garlic
2 teaspoons peanut oil
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 block of firm tofu, 14 – 16 oz, cut in 1/2-inch cubes
4 – 6 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 head green cabbage, shredded
1 cup of frozen peas (or more to your liking)
3 1/2 tablespoons safflower oil or peanut oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
In a small bowl, mix together the first six ingredients. That is, soy sauce through tomato paste. Stir well and set aside. Cut up the cabbage, tofu and garlic.
Heat 3 1/2 tablespoons of oil in a wok at medium high heat. Add the salt, garlic, peas and shredded cabbage. Cook for four minutes, stirring frequently. Add the cubed tofu and continue to stir for two minutes. Then add the sauce, stirring together for another minute. Remove from heat and serve.