Korean BBQ, steak, fries, mac and cheese, lasagna, kabobs, pot pie… Just looking at these food terms makes me very full. After a totally stuffed food frenzy weekend or vacation, don’t you have the feeling that you want something lighter and healthier for dinner? Salad maybe the first thing that comes to mind, but what if you want something aren’t cold? No problem, this recipe is for you!
This soup is very light with tons of vegetables and tofu, but absolutely flavorful. It can be made within 30 minutes. This recipe uses a bunch of Asian ingredients. They maybe a bit unfamiliar, but they are easy to handle and don’t required extra attention. Let me give a quick introduction to the special ingredients.
Napa cabbage – It is a type of Chinese cabbage. It is sweeter than regular cabbage. They can be eaten raw or cooked. I prefer the tender cooked ones.
Dried shrimps – These are shrimps that have been dried and shrunk. They have a strong flavor and are used as seasoning. They are often used in Chinese cuisine. They need to be soak in warm water to be soften before use.
Yam noodles – They are also known as shirataki noodles. They are made from konjac yam. They are high in fiber, but they don’t have much flavors. It is all about the slightly crunchy texture. Great to use in flavorful broth. I use the ones that are tied together like little knots, which are easier to pick up when eating.
Fish tofu – It doesn’t contain any tofu. It is more like a fish ball or fish cake. Savory and meaty. If you are a meat eater, you definitely would love some of these in your soup.
Even though dried shrimps are so small, but they are the most important ingredient in this dish. After pan frying and simmering, they brought a light umami flavor to the broth. With the flavors from shallot, garlic and ginger, the broth had a sweet flavor. It was very satisfying. Add some cabbages, yam noodles, tofu and fish tofu. It is a complete one pot meal! Healthy and tasty!
Easy Napa Cabbage Tofu Soup
2 – 3 servings
– 1/3 cup small dried shrimps
– 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
– 1 large shallot (thinly sliced)
– 1 clove garlic (minced)
– ½-inch ginger cube (minced)
– 3 cups low sodium chicken broth
– 2 teaspoons sesame oil
– half a Napa cabbage (cut into 1-inch pieces)
– 7 ounces medium-firm tofu (cut into 1-inch cubes)
– 8 ounces yam noodle knots (Shirataki noodles)
– 8 fish tofu or fish balls or fish cakes
– 1 green onion (finely chopped)
– ¼ cup cilantro (roughly chopped)
– ground white pepper
- In a small bowl, soak the dried shrimps in warm water for 20 minutes. Pat dried with paper towels and roughly chopped.
- In a large pot over medium high heat, warm up 1 tablespoon oil. Add the dried shrimps and cook for 2 minutes, stirring often. Add the shallot, garlic and ginger. Cook until everything is golden brown, stirring often. Add the broth. Bring to a boil. Turn the heat down to medium. Add the sesame oil. Season with salt and dash of white pepper. Toss in the cabbages and cook until the cabbages are almost tender and transparent. Add tofu, noodle knots, and fish tofu. Cook until everything is warm through. Season with more salt if needed. Transfer to a serving bowl or pot. Top with green onion and cilantro. If you prefer, serve with hot steamed rice.
- You can use any kind of fish ball products to substitute fish tofu.
- You can get all of these ingredients from most Asian supermarkets, like 99 Ranch Market.
- If you are a big eater and worry the soup is not enough, add a little bit of soup into a bowl of steamed rice and eat them together (泡飯).
(Adapted from Maria Cordero via Good Cheap Eats 3)