STIR-FRIED CHINESE CABBAGE
Our health would improve if all vegetable dishes were as simple and tasty as this Chinese cabbage stir-fry. It’s important to mention that this dish contains some meat, but if you’re a vegetarian, you can leave it out.
This stir-fry of Chinese cabbage is flavorful, tangy, and easy to make. Moreover, it’s a steal. So many people don’t know how to make cabbage taste delicious because it’s so cheap, filling, and nutritious.
That’s good news, isn’t it? When Sarah and I met together for lunch in Beijing, we always agreed on one thing: this was the dish we wanted to order. In the Sanlitun neighborhood of Beijing, where she worked, we’d order this dish virtually every time we saw it on the menu when she worked there.
All you need to make a huge impact is a lot of heat, a few dried chiles, and some Chinese pantry items. Eating this cabbage and rice dish is a beautiful dinner in and of itself!
So, in Chinese, “hand-shredded cabbage” is the name of this meal. So why shred the cabbage by hand? You might have a good reason for doing so. To be honest, I’m not sure why this is done, but my best guess is because the carelessly torn cabbage has a more interesting texture and is better able to absorb sauce and flavor. The perfect method to transform a typical head of cabbage into something extraordinary and one of our all-time favorites.
- 2 tbsp. of oil
- 6 oz. of pork belly (pork loin, thinly sliced)
- 5 cloves of garlic (smashed)
- 5 dried red chilies (deseeded and chopped)
- 1 1/2 lb. of cabbage (hand-shredded into bite-sized pieces, thoroughly dried)
- 2 tsp. of Shaoxing wine
- 1 tbsp. of soy sauce
- 1/2 tsp. of sugar
- 1 tbsp. of water
- 1/2 tsp. of Chinese black vinegar
- 2 scallions (cut into 2-inch lengths)
- Add the oil to a wok over high heat. Caramelize the beef by frying it in a pan. Immediately after putting in the garlic and chile, bring the heat down to medium-low and stir-fry for a minute or so, taking care not to overcook it.
- Cook for a few minutes before serving with rice or noodles. Cabbage should be cooked for 1-2 minutes at a high temperature with the lid on, then turned to medium-low heat. You can add salt and pepper to your liking after removing the cover. Wilted but still slightly crunchy and caramelized cabbage is ideal for this dish. Serve immediately.