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). Use whatever random assortment of veggies you happen to have in your house.
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 package 14 oz extra-firm tofu, cubed into bite-size pieces
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 1/4 cup chicken stock
- 1 Tbsp rice vinegar
- 2 Tbsp honey
- 1 tsp fish sauce
- 1 tsp sriracha optional
- 2 tsp corn starch
- 1/2 head shredded cabbage
- 1-2 cups shredded carrots however much you like
- 4 scallion spears chopped (are they called spears?)
- 1 Tbsp minced ginger
- 1 Tbsp minced garlic
- toasted chopped nuts (optional, for topping)
- chopped cilantro optional, for topping
- fresh lime wedges optional, for serving
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 (checking on it every 3 minutes) while you prep the rest of the ingredients. It should take 6-9 minutes total to get golden brown on all sides. Remove tofu to a bowl and toss with a couple teaspoons of soy sauce.
Whisk soy sauce and chicken stock (or water, with added salt) together, add vinegar, honey, fish sauce, and corn starch. Add sriracha if you like it spicy (Mom doesn't).
Heat 2 tablespoons canola oil in now-empty skillet and add shredded cabbage, carrots, and scallions. Cook on medium heat for about 5 minutes, or until the vegetables are bright and crisp (they will get more tender as you finish them in the sauce). Add minced garlic and ginger, stir-fry for 1-2 minutes, don't let garlic or ginger burn (add a few tablespoons of water if pan seems dry). Turn up heat, add half of sauce, cook for 2-3 minutes until sauce reaches desired thickness.
Add tofu and other half of sauce to the skillet and cook for a minute or two, tossing tofu until well-coated in sauce. Top each serving with chopped toasted nuts, cilantro, and lime if desired. Bid your hangover farewell.