This easy cabbage and tofu recipe is a fantastic introduction to stir frying with tofu. Once you try this recipe once or twice, you’ll have a go-to-meal that is delicious and nutritious in 10 minutes or less.
This tofu stir fry with cabbage and mushrooms is one of my favorite stir fry recipes because it’s simple yet tastes delicious. It is one of the quickest ways to get a satisfying and hot meal on the dinner table during busy weeknights.
NOTE: This recipe uses five-spice dry tofu. If you don’t have this special tofu, read how you can substitute with a different kind of tofu. Or you can use this cabbage and tofu recipe instead which calls for regular brick tofu that comes in a plastic tub. The stir-frying technique differs depending on how wet your tofu is. So pick the recipe accordingly.
What I love about this stir fry recipe is that it’s easy to substitute different tofu, meat, and vegetables to customize it for your tastes. That means if you’re having a hellish week and meal planning and grocery shopping ain’t possible, you can whip up this stir fry with whatever ingredients you have on hand and still deliver a healthy, delicious dish. Let’s dive in to see how.
RELATED: Learn How to Stir Fry
Tips For Success
- Make sure all your ingredients are ready before you heat the oil: Read How to Stir Fry to understand the process of stir frying and how to avoid burning the garlic and green onions.
- Add water to steam the cabbage: This stir-fry recipe for cabbage needs water to steam the cabbage or your cabbage might burn on the edges and still be raw. Use a frying pan or wok that comes with a lid.
- Blister the tofu: Continuously turn the tofu to avoid burning it. If you substitute the tofu, check the advice below as you may need to avoid frying the tofu in oil if it is very watery. If you are using regular brick tofu that comes in a plastic tub and submerged with water, follow this cabbage and tofu stir-fry recipe instead.
How to Substitute Ingredients
This recipe is made with five-spice dry tofu. If you don’t have access to an Asian grocery store where you can buy five-spice dry tofu, you can substitute it with an extra firm or pressed tofu. Options like teriyaki tofu or baked tofu work well. Just make sure the tofu is not extra soft and not silken or it will break when you try to stir fry it.
If you use regular brick tofu, you should skip the first step of frying the tofu in oil because the watery tofu will cause the hot oil to splatter. Simply add the tofu at the same time as the mushroom and gently turn the tofu to avoid breaking it.
You can also replace the tofu with ground meat like ground beef or pork. You can also use chicken cut into cubes.
You can use any kind of cabbage you have on hand including savoy cabbage and Napa cabbage/Chinese cabbage. However, Napa cabbage will release a lot more water so you will want to add some salt to draw out the water and skip adding extra water or else your stir fry will be quite wet.
You can substitute different vegetables in place of cabbage, including broccoli, cauliflower, green beans, and zucchini. However, you may need to steam these vegetables for longer depending on how sturdy they are. For example, broccoli and zucchini may need an extra 2 to 3 minutes to cook through depending on how crunchy you like them.
I like shiitake mushrooms for the umami flavor they add. Plus, they provide a meaty texture in this vegan stir fry dish. If you don’t have fresh shiitake mushrooms, use dried shiitake mushrooms. If you can’t get shiitake mushrooms, use ordinary button mushrooms and slice them the same way.
If you hate mushrooms, you can skip them. You can replace the mushrooms with a meat substitute like tofurky or real meat like strips of beef depending on your diet and taste preferences.
Soy sauce makes this dish sing. If you don’t have soy sauce, you can substitute salt to taste. You can also replace the soy sauce with teriyaki sauce, oyster sauce, or hoisin sauce.
Stir Fry Tofu, Cabbage, and Shiitake Mushrooms
- Chopping Board
- 12 oz. (340.2 g) Tofu, five-spice dry tofu or extra firm from your Asian grocery store
Stir Fry Vegetables
- ½ head (454 g) Cabbage, sliced
- 6 (84 g) Shiitake Mushrooms, about a handful, sliced
- Gather the ingredients.
- Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in your frying pan or wok. Add the tofu and fry until the edges are golden brown and crispy, about 5 minutes.
- Make a well in the middle of your pan. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil to the pan with the chopped garlic and green onion. Stir to combine the aromatics with the tofu.
- Add the sliced cabbage and combine.
- Add the sliced mushrooms and soy sauce. Combine the ingredients.
- Add 2 tablespoons of water to the pan and cover with a lid. Allow the cabbage to steam until cooked, about 3 minutes.
- Once the cabbage and mushrooms are softened and cooked through, remove the stir fry from the heat and serve.
- Enjoy your cabbage, tofu, and mushroom stir fry!