Tear the tofu into rough chunks, wrap in kitchen paper towels and place in a heat-proof container. Microwave for 5 minutes in a 600 W oven to get rid of the excess moisture.
Cool the tofu in a sieve.
Peel the leaves off the cabbage one at a time. This is easier and neater if you cut through the root end of the stalks first.
Put the cabbage leaves on a slightly moistened heatproof plate, cover with a moistened kitchen paper towel and microwave for 5 to 7 minutes at 600 W.
The microwave time may vary depending on the size of the cabbage leaves, so adjust accordingly. The leaves should be soft enough to wrap around the filling.
In the meantime, finely chop the onions, cut the root end off the shimeji mushrooms and pull apart, and cut the fish sausage into wrappable lengths.
If you are using fat fish sausages, cut them in half lengthwise.
When the cabbage leaves have cooled, shave off some of the thick stalk. Chop up the shaved off stalk part to put into the cooking liquid.
When the tofu has cooled transfer to a bowl, add the onion and pre-seasoning salt and mix well with your hands. Divide into 8 portions.
Put the mixture from Step 9 along with a piece of sausage on the front half of the cabbage, roll once then fold in the right side of the leaf.
Roll again and fold over the left side of the leaf, and finish rolling. Put the rolled seam side down and tie securely with a piece of the kanpyo gourd strip.
Put the cabbage rolls from Step 11, the water and bouillon into a pot and bring to a boil over high heat. Add the chopped up cabbage stalk and close with a tight fitting lid. Simmer on low heat for 40 minutes.
Adjust the seasoning at the end with salt and pepper. Serve on a plate, optionally sprinkled with grated cheese and parsley, and it's done.
Story Behind this Recipe
Cabbage rolls are a family favorite, but I used some leftover fish sausage in this one.
The kanpyo dried gourd strips tear easily after they've been re-hydrated, so just rinse then lightly in water just before you need them. If you don't have kanpyo, secure the wrapped ends of the cabbage with toothpicks. This is very lightly flavored, so if you want it sweeter increase the ketchup.