I ate a similar dish in a Chinese hotel in Dili. It contained also deep-fried tofu and another green leafy vegetable, probably water spinach (kangkong). I loved it and re-created it, although not exactly the same way. Water spinach is unavailable here, but I sometimes add baked (I do not deep-fry) tofu to my napa. I like it so much that I eat it often, sometimes even every week, but most of the time every two weeks.
1 large napa cabbage,
5 cloves garlic,
2 tablespoons soy sauce,
2 tablespoons extra virgin cold pressed olive oil,
1-2 Thai peppers.
Cut the onion in thin stripes and fry it in olive oil in a stainless steel pot. Please remember that non-stick and aluminum pots are harmful for health. They leach toxic substances into the food. Aluminum gets into your body contributing, among other things, to Alzheimer’s disease and detoxing from it is very unpleasant. Most pots available have an aluminum core sandwiched between two layers of stainless steel for more even heat distribution. This is fine because aluminum does not get into contact with food.
Cut the cabbage sideways into 1 inch (about 2.5 cm) stripes. Add it into the pot, starting with the bottom part of it, where the stems are harder, giving it a bit more cooking time. Add soy sauce and pressed garlic. No water is needed, olive oil will prevent sticking at first and then soy sauce with some cabbage juice will provide more than enough moisture. Cook for about 10 – 12 minutes, it is the best when still a little bit crispy. Strain it on a stainless steel strainer.
Serve with brown rice and brown, black or green lentils or tofu. This portion size can serve four, although in my home we like it so much that it is just enough for two. The dish can be gluten-free if you use gluten-free soy sauce (some of them contain wheat).