This is a classic Chinese dish that makes something special out of an otherwise humble head of cabbage. It is everything you want in a hot, sweet and sour recipe - don’t be surprised if you find yourself licking the juices from the bowl once the cabbage is gone! Though Savoy cabbage is versatile and can be included in anything from salads to soups to casseroles, it’s an often-overlooked vegetable in Western markets. This recipe allows it to shine for the short duration of its season. Look for a head with tight, lacy leaves that are vividly green and deeply crinkled.
Hot and Sour Stir-fried Cabbage
adapted from Chris Thile’s method in “A Recipe for Cooking”
Makes 4 to 6 servings
1 Savoy cabbage
coarse Celtic sea salt, to taste
¼ cup coconut oil, divided
2 teaspoons minced ginger
2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons water
2 teaspoons coconut sugar
1) Split the cabbage down the center through its core. Cut each half into thirds for a total of 6 wedges. Trim the core from each wedge and discard.
2) Slice each wedge into ½ inch ribbons, then put into a colander and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of sea salt. Toss and let sit for about 30 minutes – the cabbage will wilt and drain a bit. After 30 minutes, give a quick rinse to the cabbage and squeeze dry.
3) Meanwhile, mix together the ginger and red pepper flakes in one bowl and the apple cider vinegar, water, and coconut sugar in a separate bowl.
4) Heat a large skillet and add 2 tablespoons of coconut oil to melt.
5) Add half the ginger and red pepper flakes and stir until fragrant. Add half the cabbage, stir quickly and cook for 3 minutes.
6) Then add half the apple cider vinegar, water, and sugar mixture.
7) Continue cooking and stirring constantly, about another minute or two, until cabbage is tender. Taste, and if you think the cabbage needs more vinegar, add a capful more to finish.
8) Repeat steps 4-7 with the second half of the cabbage.
9) Serve hot or chilled alongside fish, pork, or chicken. Add to grain bowls, tacos, or to salads. Will keep for a few days in the fridge – in fact, it’s even better after a day or two of rest.