The Birthday Hangover of 2017 continued for another day. I woke up slightly nauseous this morning, but forced myself to bang out 25 minutes of yoga. I only broke a sweat because I was trying not to vomit. Have I mentioned that I’m never drinking again?
My usual morning smoothie felt extra refreshing, and after hydrating and caffeinating I almost thought I could take on the day. But nausea comes in waves. The waves slapped me in the face throughout the day, and I was ready to go straight to bed by the time it was 3pm.
On my drive home, something miraculous happened. My appetite returned. My stomach growled and my mind stirred with dinner ideas. We had half a head of cabbage that had been sitting in the crisper for 2 weeks. I wondered if it would still be good. I could cut up some carrots into matchsticks, shred the cabbage, and make stir fry using the fish sauce and rice vinegar I swore I’d always use but had yet to open.
Mom was astonished at my sudden burst of stamina and energy. She watched, wide-eyed, as I flew through the door and immediately started chopping garlic and ginger, frying tofu, and whisking up a stir-fry sauce.
Stir-fry is my go-to when it feels like I have no ingredients in the house. We didn’t shop all weekend because I was too hungover to move, so we were very low on supplies. But I cut off the brown bits from the cabbage, rescued a knob of nearly moldy ginger, added some fresh carrots and called it a day (some may call it disgusting). No, really, this dinner was so good Mom even emailed me about it the next day: “Thanks for a terrific dinner poopie!” And, it cured my hangover. I should have known that food is always the answer.
Food to the rescue when drinks do you dirty.
- 1/2 head shredded cabbage
- 1-2 cups shredded carrots however much you like
- 4 scallion spears chopped (are they called spears?)
- 2 TB minced ginger
- 2 TB minced garlic
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 1/4 cup chicken stock
- 1 TB rice vinegar
- 2 TB honey
- 1 tsp fish sauce
- 1 tsp sriracha optional
- 1 tsp corn starch
- 1 package 14 oz extra-firm tofu, cubed into bite-size pieces
- toasted chopped nuts (optional, for topping)
- extra chopped scallion optional, for topping
- chopped cilantro optional, for topping
Heat 2 tablespoons canola oil in skillet until hot. Sprinkle a few drops of water in there when you think it's ready, if they crackle and pop furiously, your oil is hot enough. Add cubed tofu in a single layer. Let it hang out while you prep the rest of the ingredients.
Whisk soy sauce and chicken stock (or water) together, add vinegar, honey, fish sauce, and corn starch. Add sriracha if you like it spicy (Mom doesn't). Flip tofu once the first side is brown and crispy. This can be tricky, the oil will be popping everywhere and might get on your arm as you individually flip each cube. This is a little risky and takes a second, but if frying tofu is as dangerous as my life gets, I'm okay with that.
In a separate skillet, heat 2 tablespoons canola oil and add shredded cabbage, carrots, and scallions. Stir-fry on medium heat for 5 minutes. Add minced garlic and ginger, stir-fry for 1-2 minutes, don't let garlic or ginger burn. Turn up heat, add half of sauce, cook for 2-3 minutes until sauce is desired thickness.
Add other half of sauce to tofu and cook 2-3 minutes until sauce is desired thickness. Serve vegetables with tofu, top with chopped toasted nuts, scallions, cilantro, and sriracha if desired. Bid your hangover farewell.