First, I have to apologize to Vegetarian Times magazine. I had always assumed that the magazine would be full of “hippie vegetarian food” and PETA-like idiocy.
But I was wrong. I saw a good deal online for a subscription, so I decided to try it out. My first issue (March 2010) arrived and I started flipping through it. They had some great articles and a number of recipes I would like to try. No leaf-and-twig chow in sight. Two of the month’s features? Choosing a CSA, and a whole section on cabbage.
Through our CSA, we have acquired an abundance of cabbage. It’s not that I don’t like cabbage, I’ve just never eaten much so I don’t have many brilliant ideas for it. When I saw an article featuring five cabbage recipes, I was intrigued. Then I was motivated.
We had a head of it available, so the “hot and sour Napa cabbage” sounded like a good plan to me. It came together quickly and was simple. After eating it alone as a warm salad, I had the rest the next day over some soba noodles for a more filling dish.
Hot and Sour Napa Cabbage
Adapted from the March 2010 issue of Vegetarian Times
I used balsamic vinegar and wished that I had Chinese black vinegar. Use it as an excuse to get a bottle; I’m going to.
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 teaspoons roasted sesame oil
2 whole dried chiles de arbol, thinly sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon fresh ginger, minced
1 head (about 2 pounds) Napa cabbage, cut into 1-inch slices
3 tablespoons Chinese black vinegar or balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon sugar
optional: sliced scallions, sesame seeds for garnish
Heat vegetable and sesame oils in a wok or large skillet over medium-high heat. Add chiles, garlic, and ginger, and stir fry them for one minute. Add cabbage and cook for 30 seconds. Stir in vinegar, soy sauce, and sugar, cooking 2-3 minutes or until cabbage is still crisp but tender. Serve garnished with scallions and/or sesame seeds, and over soba noodles or rice if desired.