Chinese cabbage or napa cabbage is delicious when stir fried on its own but it can be rather bland.
Dried Chinese black mushroom (shiitake) which is one of my pantry staples, is a perfect pairing for Chinese cabbage as it is packed full of savoury flavour and is commonly used as a natural flavour enhancer for vegetarian dishes.
To cook this meatless stir fry, start by soaking 2 dried Chinese black mushroom (shiitake) in hot water in a covered small bowl for at least 10 minutes. Cut 12 leaves of Chinese (napa) cabbage into bite size pieces. Slice 1 stalk of spring onion (green shallot) diagonally. Peel and slice 1 small carrot diagonally and thinly. Finely slice 1 clove of garlic. Drain the soaked mushrooms, reserving the soaking water, and thinly slice them. Marinate the sliced mushrooms with 1 teaspoon of light soy sauce and a pinch of white pepper.
Heat 1 tablespoon of oil over a medium heat. Add the garlic. Stir briefly. Add the marinated mushrooms. Stir for another 2 minutes. Add the carrot and Chinese cabbage. Add half of the mushroom soaking water. Stir and cover the pan. Simmer for 5 minutes. Season with salt to taste. Stir in the spring onion.
This stir fry is best devoured hot off the pan and therefore should be cooked at the last minute. Or, in my case, it usually ends up being my healthy and nourishing mid-cooking or pre-dinner snack.