Sometimes you build a whole meal around a single ingredient. In this case, I came home with the purple cabbage and everything else fell into place. I loved the colors in this dish. The greens and the purples made me smile, and the crispy tofu melted into a perfectly soft center.
I bought the purple cabbage at the farmers’ market because I thought it was so cute (I like cute vegetables the best), and then I wasn’t sure what to do with it.
I sautéed some tofu.
Threw together some and ginger-lime dressing
and mixed it all together with something green.
Purple Cabbage, Tofu and Bok Choy Bowl with Ginger Lime Dressing
I came up with this just from the ingredients I had on hand; the whole thing is built around the purple cabbage. If you don’t have mirin, feel free to sub in olive oil. The flavor profile won’t be the same, but it will still be delicious.
- 1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
- 1 tbsp safflower oil
- 1/2 block extra firm tofu
- salt and pepper
- 1/2 head purple cabbage
- 1 small head bok choy
for the ginger-lime dressing
- 1 tbsp finely diced ginger
- zest of 1 lime
- juice of 1 lime
- 1 tbsp mirin
- In a large skillet, over high heat, add the toasted sesame oil and safflower oil. As the oil heats up, swirl the pan until the oil covers the bottom of the pan.
- Slice the 1/2 block of tofu into 1” x 1/4” pieces. Place each piece in the skillet and season with salt and pepper. The key to a good sear on the tofu is not to move it once it’s in the skillet.
- After 3 minutes, flip over one piece of tofu to check. If the bottom is golden brown, flip the other pieces over and let them cook for another 3 minutes.
- While the tofu is cooking, roughly chop the cabbage and bok choy.
- When the tofu is golden on both sides, remove it from the pan, and add the cabbage and bok choy. Cook for 4 minutes.
- While the cabbage and bok choy are cooking, combine all the ingredients for the dressing together in a small bowl and mix.
- After 4 minutes, remove the cabbage and bok choy mixture and portion into two bowls. Top each bowl with 1/2 the tofu, and split the dressing between the two bowls.
The whole thought process and cooking, from idea to eating took me about 15 minutes. Sometimes you just have to open your fridge and toss things together, and luckily for me, this worked out really well. Now I need to go seek out some more cute purple cabbage. Also baby bok choy. That’s a pretty cute vegetable.