Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Vinegar-Slithered Green Cabbage

After wading through all that cabbage information, here is the pay-off. This is the first cabbage I ever had that I liked. Not too hard to achieve, considering that my mother cooked vegetables the old-fashioned way ... boiled to death.

From The Key to Chinese Cooking by Irene Kuo
Serves 4 or more

1 small head green cabbage, about 1 pound
3 tablespoons oil
4 dried red chili peppers

1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon cornstarch
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
2 tablespoons light soy sauce
1 tablespoon dry sherry

Remove the cabbage's tough outer leaves and cut off the stem. Quarter the cabbage and cut out the core. Cut the leaves into pieces about 1 inch square, toss in a colander to separate, and then rinse and drain (do not rinse and drain until shortly before the stir-frying).

Mix the sauce ingredients in a bowl until the sugar and cornstarch are dissolved.

Heat a wok or large, heavy skillet over high heat until hot. Add the oil, turn heat low, and toss in the peppers. Press and turn them in the oil until they are deep red -- do not let them blacken since they won't look as pretty with the cabbage. Then turn heat high, scatter in the cabbage, and stir and flip for about 2 minutes in the hot oil.

Add the sauce and stir in folding motions for 30 seconds; then pour into a hot serving dish.

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