Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The Virtues of Cabbage

Today I want to share this really simple but DELICIOUS dish that I learned about from Orangette's website.  Essentially, it is fried cabbage.

Ok, pick your jaw up from the floor.  Yes, I know cabbage doesn't have the best reputation, but cooked this way, it will change your entire conception of cabbage.  It will be a revelation.  I've eaten it three times in the last 2 days.  I kid you not.

But first, why cabbage?  According to Wikipedia (that most reliable of sources), cabbage is an excellent source of vitamins and dietary fiber.  It is reputed to have a bad odor when cooked, but that is only when cooked for a prolonged period of time.  We usually see it used in pickled form (ie sauerkraut, which my husband doesn't care for, despite being half German) or used in soups and stews.

In this dish you are cooking the cabbage at high heat for less than five minutes, which means the vegetable remains relatively crisp and less sweet than in prolonged preparations (the sugar doesn't have time to be released).  The original recipe called for fennel, but that's impossible to find in China, and I substituted garlic.  The result is peppery and homey, the creamy egg yolk falling gently into a bed of slightly salty cabbage - it is a humble dish, but deeply satisfying.

Fried Cabbage on Toast
adapted from Orangette's recipe

half a cabbage, chopped into strips
2 cloves garlic, minced
oil, salt and pepper
soy sauce
2 eggs

Heat the pan on high heat.  Add a tbsp of oil.  When hot, add minced garlic and stir around for a few seconds.  Add cabbage strips, stir to coat with oil, and stir-fry until cabbage is wilted and slightly browned.  Add a dash of salt, a generous grinding of black pepper, and a splash of soy sauce.  Continue stir-frying until liquid is evaporated.  Mound onto two plates.  Top each with a fried egg and serve with a slice of whole-wheat toast.

Could anything be easier?

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