This week we have beautiful Spring cabbages from the wonderful people and plants at Wortley Hall Walled Garden. These brassica leaves are so tender and sweet that I’ll be reserving half my cabbage to enjoy minimally adorned as a side-dish – lightly cooked and tossed with some oil or butter and a bit of garlic. The rest of the cabbage can glide into a comforting, multi-textured, veggie noodle stir-fry. I am quite addicted to fish sauce (Nam Pla) – any excuse for a big splash – but yesterday was pleased to find a vegetarian seaweed-based version (Nam Pla Jey). For the veg mound, feel free to substitute other greens but ideally include a brassica sibling like broccoli – keeping it super nutritious.
Spring cabbage noodles with tofu and cashews
Ingredients (serves 2):
• Egg or rice noodles – two portions
• Sunflower oil and sesame oil for stir frying
• Spring cabbage, shredded – about a third of a head
• Carrot, one small/medium – finely julienned
• White or brown onion, one small, finely sliced
• Ginger, small thumb sized, finely chopped
• Garlic, three cloves, finely chopped
• Firm tofu, about 140g
• Cashews, a good handful (about 80g) coarsely broken up and toasted
For the sauce – increase volumes if you prefer very saucy noodles:
• Fish sauce or vegetarian fish sauce – 1 tbsp
• Rice vinegar – 1 tbsp
• Soy sauce – 2 tbsp
• Sriracha chilli sauce – 1 tsp
• Sesame oil – 1 tsp
• Good squeeze of lime juice
• Cook your noodles and have them ready. If you like your noodles crispy, you’ll need to fry them separately before adding to the veg.
• Mix all the sauce ingredients and have them ready by the hob.
• Prepare the tofu: cut into short flat-ish little strips and fry in some sesame oil, turning them, until they’re golden. Set aside.
• Cook the veg: heat 2 tbsp of sunflower oil and 1 tbsp sesame oil in a wok until very hot. Add the onion, carrot, garlic and ginger and stir fry on high heat for a couple of minutes. Then pile in the shredded cabbage and stir fry vigorously on high heat until wilting and just tender; hopefully the carrots still have some crunch.
• Add the cooked tofu and toasted cashews, mix to distribute evenly. Then add the noodles and the sauce, toss well so everything is combined. Pile into bowls, adding more soy sauce to taste.