Sunday, February 14, 2010

Sauteed Baby Cabbage

Last week, I had an excellent dinner at POD in Philadelphia. One of the sides we enjoyed was Wok Roasted Baby Bok Choy. It was excellent. I don't remember ever having bok choy before and I don't know why. I could have eaten the entire plate, except that I was sharing with coworkers and I needed to remain civilized. I was definitely going to make this recipe at home. Or at least a similar recipe since I don't actually have a wok handy.

Last weekend, I scoured the supermarket for baby bok choy. The first store I descended upon didn't have any, but I had success in the second supermarket. I spotted some baby bok choy (which was confirmed by the twist tie around the produce which clearly read "Baby Bok Choy"). So I proudly purchased my baby bok choy. After I got home, I became increasingly suspicious...

I had been hoodwinked! I admit it. The labeled "Baby Bok Choy" I had purchased was looking less and less like the baby bok choy I remember from Pod. The pictures in the recipe that I was using also seemed to confirm this.

But what else could I do? I had all the ingredients and this head of produce, which I will now refer to as "Baby Cabbage" for lack of a better term. Obviously it's not baby bok choy. So I continued to make my version of this dish.

Sauteed Baby Cabbage
(adapted from the Steamy Kitchen)
  • 1 1/2 pounds baby cabbage (or baby bok choy)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons canola, vegetable or peanut oil (I used vegetable oil)
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 3 tablespoons broth or water
  • salt to taste

1) Trim off the end of the stem.

2) Separate out the leaves, keep the tender center intact and clean under running water. Drain.
3) Place frying pan (or wok) on your stove and pour in the cooking oil. Add the garlic and ginger while the oil is still cold.
4) Turn the heat to medium-high. Let the ginger and garlic gently sizzle in the oil.
5) When the aromatics become fragrant and light golden brown, add the cabbage leaves.
6) Toss very well to coat each leaf with the garlicky, gingery oil.

7) Pour in broth or water. Immediately cover and let cook until wilted. Season with salt.
I like to serve this with a little soy sauce on the side. Soy sauce with wasabi, although purist sushi lovers would gag on the idea of this. If you do serve with soy sauce, go easy on the salt you sprinkle over the cabbage after it's done.

The baby cabbage was pretty good, considering it wasn't the baby bok choy that I originally thought I had purchased. The leaves were soft, but the stems of the cabbage provided a nice crunch. Personally, I would have trimmed off more of the stems if I had thought about it before I started sauteing the vegetable. This just means that I had to take an extra step at the end and trim the stems after cooking. And soy sauce goes with anything. I think I just enjoy salt. This probably falls under the same category as my love of cheese. Don't judge me.

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