Chample, often called champuru, means “mixed up” in Okinawan. That seems to me to be an appropriate name for the stir-fry that is the signature dish of Okinawan cooking. The national favorite, goya champuru (above), is more of a celebratory dish that includes eggs and pork in addition to bitter melon. This is a more everyday dish: Provided by Craig Willcox, it’s an easy-to-fix vegetable chample that is a good way to start exploring Okinawan cuisine. Serve with cooked brown or white rice.
6 ounces extra-firm tofu
2 tablespoons canola oil
3 cups cored, shredded green cabbage (about 1 small cabbage)
6 ounces green beans (about 11⁄2 cups), trimmed and cut into 2-inch-long pieces
1⁄2 cup soybean or mung bean sprouts
2 teaspoons low-sodium soy sauce, preferably a Japanese bottling
Gently squeeze excess moisture out of the tofu block.
Cut the tofu into 1-inch cubes.
Warm 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large nonstick skillet set over medium heat.
Add the tofu cubes and cook until golden brown, turning occasionally, about 4 minutes.
Transfer to a large plate.
Add the remaining tablespoon of oil to the skillet.
Add the cabbage and green beans; cook, stirring often, until the cabbage begins to wilt, about 3 minutes. Add the bean sprouts and cook, stirring more frequently, for only 1 minute to avoid overcooking.
Return the tofu to the skillet and toss gently until heated through, about 1 minute.
Stir in the soy sauce, salt, and pepper before serving.
-You can make this simple recipe substituting a variety of vegetables for bean sprouts: zucchini, yellow summer squash, or green or red bell peppers, cored and sliced into 2-inch-long matchsticks. Or substitute Asian cabbage (such as napa or bok choy) for the green cabbage.
-If you like your food a little spicy, add a dash of Okinawan hot sauce, koregusu, which is made of red peppers and Okinawan sake. Or use the bottled hot sauce of your choice.
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