I always look forward to comforting food as the weather changes, and this delicious vegetable stew fits the bill. It's also much easier to make than you may think.
This stew is made from sweet Napa cabbage, pan-fried tofu, and tender Delicata squash. It’s also lightly seasoned with umami-rich sauces and a little heat from Thai chile. (The squash lends a sweet flavor to offset some of that spice.)
The best part about this dish is that you can make this in under an hour. This recipe is also easily customizable. Substitute Savoy or green cabbage for Napa cabbage or use squashes of your choice for the sweetness. It’s really easy and you’ll have a cozy meal at your dinner table in no time.
vegetable oil, divided, plus more as needed
medium-firm tofu, sliced into thick planks
small delicata squash, cut into 2-inch chunks
Napa cabbage, roughly chopped
beech or enoki mushrooms, cleaned and separated
To a large nonstick skillet over medium-low heat, add a teaspoon of vegetable oil and heat until shimmering. Add the tofu planks to the hot oil and pan-fry the tofu until golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes on each side. Remove the tofu and set it aside.
Fill a ceramic pot (I used a Donabe) or tall saucepan with layers of Napa cabbage. Then, top with delicata squash, mushrooms, and green onions. Add tofu as the final layer.
To make the sauce, heat your now-empty nonstick skillet over medium heat and add a bit more vegetable oil. Once that shimmers, add the ginger and sauté until aromatic, about 2 minutes. Then add the garlic and chiles and and stir-fry until fragrant, another minute more. Add the soy sauce, oyster sauce, and Shaoxing wine and combine well. The mixture will start to bubble slightly. Slowly add in the vegetable stock and bring the mixture to a rolling boil and cook for 30 seconds. Remove from the heat.
Ladle the sauce over the vegetable-filled Donabe (or tall pot), then place a lid over and cook over medium heat for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the Napa cabbage is tender.
Serve warm, with a pinch of white pepper and drizzle of toasted sesame oil over each serving.