Week 4: The days are dark, but your vegetables are green, green, green
Week 5: Zucchini and Napa Cabbage bonanza!

Recipe: Black Pepper Tofu with Napa Cabbage

This recipe is based on this one from Feastingathome.com

Serves 2


  • 812 ounces firm tofu, cut into 1 inch cubes (you can substitute beef, chicken or shrimp, but do not use soft or silken tofu)
  • corn starch for dredging (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons wok oil (high heat oil like peanut, coconut or vegetable)
  • 1 teaspoon fresh cracked peppercorns
  • 1 green onion, sliced (green and white parts)
  • 4 garlic scapes, rough chopped
  • ~10 ounces Napa cabbage, chopped roughly

Black Pepper Sauce:

  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce 
  • 2 tablespoons Chinese Cooking Wine (Shaoxing Rice Wine or Mirin) or sub dry white wine, pale sherry, or rice wine.
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar (or sub palm sugar, coconut sugar or agave)
  • ½ teaspoon fresh cracked peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoon any kind of chili paste (optional)


  1. Make the black pepper sauce in a small jar, and shake until most of the sugar dissolves. 
  2. Prep the green onions, garlic scapes and cabbage.
  3. Dredge the tofu in a light coating of cornstarch (cornstarch is optional, but provides a crispier texture).
  4. Heat oil in a wok or heavy skillet until the entire pan is very hot and the oil shimmers.  Add the crushed peppercorns to the oil, swirling it around until fragrant, about one minute.
  5. Add the tofu to the seasoned oil, and sear on all sides until golden and crispy, turning the heat down if need be. Be patient and take your time, it will take about 5-6 minutes.
  6. Set the crispy tofu aside on a paper towel-lined plate, and wipe the pan out.
  7. Heat another teaspoon or two of oil over medium heat, and add green onions, garlic scapes and cabbage. Stir continuously until cabbage begins to wilt, about 3-4 minutes. It will smell amazing.  Add the black pepper sauce to the pan, careful to get all the sugar that may have settled in the jar.
  8. Simmer for a couple of minutes, or until cabbage is just tender.
  9. Toss the tofu back into the pan with the cabbage and sauce.  Taste for salt and heat, adjusting to your preference.
  10. Serve immediately, dividing between two bowls.


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