This quick, easy, and inexpensive stir-fry sizzles with piquant pepper and crunchy cabbage. I hope by now you’ve tried Butler soy curls and have a good supply put away for recipes such as this. Serve with rice or noodles, as you please.


1 Tbsp. black peppercorns

1 ½ cups hot vegetable broth

2 Tbsp. soy sauce or Bragg Liquid Aminos

1 Tbsp. sesame oil

1 Tbsp. balsamic or sherry vinegar

2 tsp, brown sugar

4 ounces Butler soy curls

2 Tbsp. neutral oil, divided

10 ounces finely shredded cabbage

4 cloves garlic, chopped

1 tsp. cornstarch

2 scallions, thinly sliced

Sesame seeds for garnish


1. Put the peppercorns in a plastic bag (a used cereal bag is fine) and crush them by bashing them with a rolling pin or meat mallet.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the crushed peppercorns, broth, soy sauce, sesame oil, vinegar, and brown sugar. Add the soy curls and stir them around. Let them soak for 15 minutes, stirring them often to get them all rehydrated.

3. Heat a sauté pan and add 1 Tbsp. oil. Then use your hands to wring most of the marinade from the rehydrated soy curls a handful at a time, then adding them to the pan. Save any remaining marinade.

4. Cook and stir over medium heat until well browned, about 10 minutes. Transfer them to a bowl.

5. Whisk the cornstarch into the reserved marinade. Set aside.

6. Add 1 Tbsp. oil to the frying pan. Then add all the cabbage and garlic and spread it out evenly. Let it cook undisturbed for 2 minutes, then use a spatula to flip it over when it’s caramelized in places on one side. Cook undisturbed for another 2 minutes.

7. Add the soy curls back into the pan with the cabbage, give it all a quick stir, and add the reserved marinade. Turn off the heat, stir briefly, and serve immediately. Garnish with scallions and sesame seeds.

Wendy Andresen lives in Camden with her husband, Ray; her Sheltie, Sunshine; and her bunny, Rustle. She welcomes responses to her column at