All recipes are for 2 servings unless noted. Oil is canola oil and salt is kosher salt.


Hakusai to kani no chanpuruu (champuruu) / Okinawan-style saute with crab, tofu and napa cabbage

The sweet inner leaves of hakusai are a great match with crabmeat. Together with tofu and egg, this is a satisfying, flavorful and nutritious dish for an everyday meal. Bonito flakes added at the end give a rich flavor. 


4-5 medium or 6-7 small leaves hakusai napa cabbage
1/2 momen firm tofu
50-60 g crabmeat
1 egg
2 tsp sake
1/2 tsp soy sauce
Black pepper, to taste
1-2 tbsp bonito flakes
1 tsp oil (not in photo)


Microwave tofu for 1 and a half to 2 minutes, and let cool.


Cut hakusai into 3-4 cm pieces.
Cut tofu into 1cm-thick smaller squares.
Lightly beat egg.


Heat oil in a frying pan, and saute tofu on medium to medium low heat until both sides are lightly golden.
Remove from frying pan, and set aside.


Saute hakusai, beginning with firm white sections, on medium to medium low heat.

When edges of white sections turn somewhat translucent, add green sections, and continue sauteing.

When hakusai is almost done (white part turns translucent, and green sections brighten), add crabmeat, and continue sauteing until heated through.

Add tofu, and mix.


When tofu is hot, add sake, soy sauce and black pepper, and stir.


Swirl in egg, mix, and turn off heat.
Add bonito flakes, and mix.
Serve hot.

  • Because of the salt content of crabmeat, adding salt is usually not necessary. Bonito flakes also provide some salt, so taste at the end before adding any extra sodium.
  • If available, add a small handful of mild mushrooms of your choice (cut, sliced or torn by fingers) when sauteing green sections of hakusai. One kind is enough. Mushrooms add a nice, soft complexity to the flavor. Shiitake, oyster, shimeji, chanterelle, maitake and eringi are some of my favorites for this dish.
  • The inner (yellowish) part of hakusai works best for this dish in terms of taste. The inner part is much sweeter, which becomes especially noticeable when cooked with oil. Appearance-wise, however, using only the inner part makes this dish too yellow, and I usually use one or two greenish outer leaves to get some green on the plate.

No comments: