Green Vegetarian Stir-Fry

I am not used to winter weather anymore. At least in the city. I do love winter in the mountains, but only when it snows and we can spend our days skiing and enjoying the crisp fresh air.

In the suburbs of Sydney, things are different: it is mostly overcast and cold. Bitterly cold. According to the news last month, NSW recorded its longest cold spell in 26 years. Boy, did we feel it. Our house is not the best insulated home around, so not only did we have the heaters cranking, but the oven worked overtime in an effort to raise the temperature to a comfortable 20 deg C. Not looking forward to our next gas bill!

Unsurprisingly, our menu rotation has included a lot of slow cooked casseroles and roasts, and while I love warm comfort food as much as anyone else, I admit I am reaching saturation point. I keep thinking of spring, supposedly just around the corner. Detox recipes are starting to pop inside my head, the ones that include tons of vegetables and invigorating spices.

A few days ago, I was sorting thru some of the photos of our latest cruise and nearly cried when staring at pictures of pristine sun-drenched Vanuatu beaches taken 10 months ago.

Anchored in Havannah Harbor, Vanuatu

Anchored in Havannah Harbor, Vanuatu

One of the accompanying notes was a recipe I quickly scribbled after cooking a vegetarian stir-fry, back then. I still remember that day: we had just said goodbye to guests onboard, and after 2 weeks of indulging I stopped at the Port Vila market to stock up on fresh island produce and cooked up what I called “Detox Stirfry” at the time.

Tiny green peppers, from the Port Vila market

Tiny green peppers, from the Port Vila market


Can’t get fresher herbs: parsley, sawtooth coriander (same as Thai coriander), dill, mint, basil…herb salad in the making!

This is quite a light dish, so full of greens it makes you feel virtuous, but it can be hearty enough for a winter’s night, just double the quantity or/and add meat or seafood of your choice! I particularly like serving this with a fried egg on top, loving how the soft egg yolk oozes thru the vegies!

Green Vegetarian Stir fry



Serves 4, as a main


200g firm tofu, cut in 3cm cubes

4 tbsp soy sauce

2 cloves of garlic crushed

5cm  knob of ginger, grated

a splash of sesame oil

4 tbsp olive oil

¼ head of white cabbage

1 cup green beans, trimmed and cut in 1-2 cm bites

1 green capsicum, diced

a handful of coriander leaves, chopped (preferably the sawtooth variety, the flavour is stronger)

  1. Make a marinade: in a bowl, combine the soy sauce, crushed garlic, grated ginger, and sesame oil. Add the cubes of tofu and leave to marinate for 15 minutes or so.
  2. In a wok or large sauté pan, heat the olive oil. Add the vegetables and stir fry for 5 minutes.
  3. Add the soy marinade from the tofu and 1 cup of water. Stir.
  4. Add the tofu and the coriander, stir for a few more minutes, until tofu is cooked thru.
  5. Serve with boiled rice and a fried egg on top, if desired.

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