SPICED RED CABBAGE WITH STEAMED TOFU

Serves 4

THE TOFU

2 blocks organic Tofu cut into 4 or 8 pieces each
3 Tbsp water
3 Tbsp fish sauce 
3 Tbsp rice vinegar or lemon or lime juice
3 Tbsp coconut sugar
2 medium cloves garlic finely chopped
1 tsp finely chopped chilli

THE BRAISED CABBAGE

2 Tbsp sesame oil
1 Tbsp coconut oil
1 chilli sliced or more if you like it hot.
1 inch root ginger grated
4 star anise whole
½ bulb garlic minced
¼ c apple cider vinegar
4 Tbsp soy sauce
2 tsp coarsely ground black pepper
⅓ medium red cabbage  (600 - 700 grams) sliced thinly
1 medium leek sliced thinly
¼ c cranberries or raisins soaked in 1 cup boiling water for 15 mins
3 Tbsp toasted sesame seeds

THE GARNISH

½ c peanuts roasted in oven with 1 Tbsp oil
Coriander, chopped or whole sprigs, your choice
Marinade

FIRSTLY
Marinate the Tofu.
Mix all ingredients and soak tofu in a dish that allows the marinade to cover it.
Note if you are using soft tofu drain with a paper towel to remove excess liquid and treat very gently. I prefer a firmer style tofu for this dish.

NOW
Soak the cranberries or raisins in boiling water.
With your Ironclad pan on low heat sauté ginger, garlic, chilli , black pepper and star anise in coconut and sesame oil for 1 – 2 minutes.
On very low heat add vinegar and soya sauce and stir. Then add leeks and cabbage. You might think there is too much in the pan, but it will all melt down. Using tongs carefully move the mixture from the outside of the pan into to the middle of the pan, making sure nothing sticks on the bottom. After 10 minutes of stirring and gazing at the amazing cabbage colour add the soaked cranberries and water. Leave to braise for 15 minutes stirring every now and then and adding a little more water if it’s sticking.
Gently mix in the toasted sesame seeds  and season with more salt if you feel it needs it. With the pan still on  a very low heat, push the cabbage to the sides of the pan, making a well to fit the tofu in a single layer in the middle. Pour half the left over marinade on top of the tofu and cover with a pot lid that seals the tofu in tightly against the cabbage.  You are now steaming the tofu. Cook for 7 – 10 minutes.

FINALLY
Take to the table sizzling and sprinkle with chopped peanuts coriander and a drizzle of marinade if you feel like more.
Warming yet light, soft yet crunchy. Sweet yet salty. Delicious.

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