Looking to spice things up for dinner? Check out this recipe for Spiced Tofu with Leeks and Cabbage from the  Vegetarian Chinese Soul Food: Deliciously Doable Ways to Cook Greens, Tofu, and Other Plant-Based Ingredients.


Find the recipe for Spiced Tofu with Leeks and Cabbage below.


I like this combination of ingredients because the spiced tofu, leeks, and cabbage can all handle a little bit of char from the wok. The textures and flavors are harmonious together and as an accompaniment to a steaming bowl of rice. Spiced tofu comes in different sizes, but you usually can find it in packs in Asian markets and some supermarkets. Depending on the size of the individual squares, you may need to adjust the amount you use. A little more or a little less won’t affect the outcome of the dish.

Makes 4 Servings


5 to 6 ounces spiced tofu (about 2 thick 2½-inch squares)
2 cups Taiwanese cabbage or regular green cabbage, cut into 1-inch squares
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 dried red chili pepper, halved, or ½ teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
1 cup sliced leeks, white part only, ⅛ inch thick
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon water
1½ teaspoons black bean garlic sauce


Cut the tofu on the bias by holding your knife at a 45-degree angle, with the blade facing away from you. Slice the tofu about ¼ inch thick. Each piece should be roughly 1¼ inches by 2½ inches. This creates more surface area. In a large bowl, combine the cabbage with the salt. Work the salt into the cabbage leaves by gently squeezing handfuls of cabbage repeatedly for about 1 minute. Set aside.

Preheat a wok over high heat until wisps of smoke rise from the surface. Add the oil and heat until it starts to shimmer. Add the chili pepper and stir for several seconds. Add the leeks and stir-fry for about 15 seconds. Add the tofu and let the pieces sear for about 5 seconds. Add the cabbage and stir-fry for 30 to 60 seconds to soften. Add the soy sauce, water, and black bean garlic sauce. Stir-fry for 1 to 2 minutes until everything is well combined. Serve while hot.


©2021 by Hsiao-Ching Chou. Excerpted from Vegetarian Chinese Soul Food by permission of Sasquatch Books. 

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