hot and sour napa cabbage

by Stacy

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.

napa 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

Hot and Sour Napa Cabbage

Adapted from the March 2010 issue of Vegetarian Times
Serves 4

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.

hot and sour napa cabbage with soba

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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Jen R. ( March 11, 2010 at 3:55 am

Hmm, I might have to get a subscription! I need make-and-take vegetarian lunch ideas outside of a PB&J.


stacy March 11, 2010 at 10:13 pm

While it has never really bothered me much to skip meaty recipes in cooking magazines, it was really nice to be able to eat every single recipe in the issue if I so desired. Watch for $5-7 subscriptions!


Kate March 11, 2010 at 11:13 am

That looks soo good. I can’t find napa cabbage anywhere near me, and I’ve been wanting to get some so I can make Kimchi (and now this recipe too!)


katiebug March 11, 2010 at 12:03 pm

This looked so good that when I was at the grocery store this morning (as an aside, grocery shopping at 9 AM is now my favorite thing to do), some napa cabbage found its way into my cart. My husband may not be able to handle three vegetarian dinners in a row, but I think I have to make it tonight.


stacy March 11, 2010 at 10:14 pm

Kate and Katie, now I feel bad that I sat on posting this for a few weeks because I thought the pictures were lame. ;p


katiebug March 11, 2010 at 10:23 pm

No worries; it was in fact as wonderful I expected. I’m a sucker for the hot and sour flavor combination (which is why I have Chinese black vinegar) and so this hit all the right notes for me. I might try it with tofu or (gasp) seared tenderloin in the future. ; )


stacy March 11, 2010 at 10:34 pm

Hehe. I would hate for Tim to waste away from any more vegetarian meals. Glad you enjoyed it, though!


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