Wednesday 31 March 2010

Paddy’s day cabbage and smoked tofu

It is with a big sigh that the end of March approaches and I count up the things I had intended to do before the month ended. Gladly, one of the few tasks I have ticked off my list is this post on my St Patrick’s Day dinner. It wasn’t fancy or green or colourful or shamrock-filled but it was mighty tasty.

I was initially inspired by Kalyn’s roast cabbage. I have roasted many veg before but never even considered cabbage. Cabbage is good bog-Irish food. I love it in stews and soups but am often a bit uncertain of its merit on its own as a side dish. This seemed an excellent way to cook it and so I decided I would try it on St Pat’s Day. A generous hand with the oil and seasoning resulted in cabbage that was soft but slightly charred around the edges. I loved it. E wasn’t so keen.

When I roasted the cabbage I threw in a few carrots, garlic cloves and onions. I had lots of vegetables leftover so the next day I used them to make a version of this roasted vegetable pasta that I make every now and again. I highly recommend it for the roasted cabbage if you are wondering how to serve it.

There was only enough leftover marinated smoked tofu for a sandwich the next day. A sign that the marinated smoked tofu was superb even if we couldn’t agree how appropriate it was for an Irish meal. E laughed at the idea. I felt it wasn’t so silly as it sounded. Being a vegetarian means I would not could not cook some of the traditional Irish meats such as corned beef beside the cabbage or bacon bits through it. Since becoming vegetarian I have come to appreciated that it is the smokiness rather than the pigginess that I once enjoyed in bacon. Hence, my choice of smoked tofu.

I chose honey and mustard as flavours for the smoked tofu marinade because I could imagine them being used in Ireland with meat. I found a recipe for honey mustard glazed chicken and adapted it. I was really pleased with the flavour. Even Sylvia had a little taste.

It seemed like I had unwittingly hit on a marinade that was a little similar tasting and as delicious as the one used in the vegan breakfast at CERES. (Of course it is not vegan with the honey in the marinade but I think maple syrup might be a fine substitute). Remembering the breakfast at CERES, I thought of my beetroot and orange chutney. I dolloped a spoonful onto the tofu (after the photo). It was just what the mean needed for a finishing touch.

I had planned to make potato and quinoa cakes to go with the spread but in the end that was too ambitious. As I had made a honey and oats no knead bread that day, it seemed enough to have a piece of bread with dinner. It made an excellent smoked tofu sandwich too. I had intended to post the bread recipe here but that was also a bit ambitious. It will be up soon. I am not sure what St Patrick would have thought of my meal but I thought it a nice modern vegetarian take on an Irish dinner.

Honey and Mustard Marinated Smoked Tofu
adapted from Group Recipes
serves 2-4

  • 300g smoked tofu, cut into ½ cm slices
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp seeded mustard
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp tamari
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • dash of cayenne pepper

Make marinade by mixing all ingredients, except smoked tofu. Place tofu slices in a shallow dish and pour marinade over it. Leave to marinate one hour, pouring marinade over every now and again. I baked it for 45 minutes on the bottom shelf of the oven at 220 C. It is done when the marinade is mostly soaked up but still a bit sticky. The tofu doesn’t get very crisp, just slightly brown.

Roast Cabbage
Adapted from Kalyn’s Kitchen
serves 4-6

  • ½ a cabbage (I used a savoy)
  • a generous drizzle of olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • Other flavourings - optional

Cut cabbage into about 6-8 wedges. Arrange in a roasting tray. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Add any other seasoning you fancy, garlic, chilli flakes, smoked paprika, lemon juice. NB Kalyn suggested leaving the core in each quarter to keep it together while cooking. I followed this advice and was not sure if it was the best way to roast it or not.

I roasted the cabbage at 220 C for 45 minutes, turning over once. Kalyn roasted hers for 15 minutes on each side at 230 C. It is done when the cabbage is soft and slightly wilted but crispy and even a little charred o the edges. This is excellent as a side dish or in soups, pasta and stews.

On the Stereo:
Deepest Purple: the Vest Best of: Deep Purple


  1. You have a very scrumptious blog!


  2. I adore the flavour of smoked tofu (although I am not a fan of bacon), and think your additioning marinade seasoning could well enable me to sneak some into meals with/for my parents once I return home. I also love the roasted cabbage idea, as I'me yet to find a cabbage preparation I don't like! (Raw, stewed, sauerkraut... bring it on.)

  3. Sounds like a wonderful dinner! And I was also taken aback by the roasted cabbage--now I think I must give it a try. And I'm sure that I used to find bacon appealing for the smokiness, not the pigginess, too! ;)

  4. It never occurred to me to roast cabbage! I love cabbage enough to just saute it and munch on a giant pile of it. This is giving me another idea, with the core in tact I should be able to put cabbage slabs on the grill. I do hope to get the grill out this weekend (finally spring here) and I'll try it out!

  5. I'm a big fan of the tofu sandwich. Also a fan of smoky flavor. Smoked paprika also works well in place of ham or bacon (for example in split pea soup). I will have to give roasted cabbage a try. Heck, I love roasted cauliflower and it's in the same plant family. Wonder why I didn't think of it!

  6. Thanks Pam

    Thanks Hannah - I am sure with this marinade the smoked tofu would please everyone - some of the sweetness cuts through the intensity

    Thanks Ricki - I am sure you would love roast cabbage - it is such an easy way for food to taste different without needing many flavourings

    Thanks Sarah - cabbage on the grill sounds excellenet - hope you have some nice weather for it

    Thanks Jenny - I love smoked paprika and also chipotle chillis in adobo sauce - smoked tofu is not always easy to find so many these other smoky flavours could work with regular tofu. And you have identified exactly why roast cabbage is so good - I love roast cauli too

  7. Mmm I loooooooove smoked tofu. I've never thought of roasting cabbage before either! Intriguing idea.


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