Wednesday, March 13, 2013

It's cabbage time...

But, only for a very short time. Every year just before St. Patrick's Day, cabbage goes on sale for unbelievably low prices. The lowest price I've seen is 19¢, for organic cabbage no less!

Like Brussels sprouts, cabbage gets a bad rap. If you cook it to death, it can exude eau du stinky vegetable. Fortunately, there are lots and lots of ways to cook cabbage that are  delicious and not stinky.

This hot salad recipe - really a stir fry - is not Irish. Unfortunately, the Irish have a habit of cooking their cabbage until dead, dead, dead. This recipe comes from Southeast Asia. It's fresh. It's light. It's very spicy (you can reduce the chile if you don't like spicy). Like Southeast Asia, about as far away from Ireland as you can get.

[Just for the record, I'll be eating corned beef and long-cooked cabbage this weekend because I like cabbage that much.]

Hot and Sour Cabbage
(serves 6, costs $1.10)

1 pound of cabbage, (about ¼ of a medium head), shredded
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
½ - 1 teaspoon Siracha sauce or Sambal Oelek (fresh ground chile paste)
1 Tablespoon brown sugar
½ teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon soy sauce
2 Tablespoons rice vinegar
½ teaspoon sesame oil

Heat a large skillet or wok over high heat. Add oil and swirl around pan. Add chile sauce. Careful! It will spit and spatter. Immediately, add cabbage. Stir fry for about 1 minute. Add brown sugar and salt. Stir fry for another minute. Add soy sauce, rice vinegar, and sesame oil, toss to mix, and serve.

Adapted from Healthy Salads From Southeast Asia by Vatcharin Bhumichitr

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