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The best we can hope for


I would take any day over Monday. Any day. Even my seventeenth birthday, which was a very disappointing day. The only way I might be convinced to change my mind is if Mondays, as a rule, took place in a quiet room with white walls and a wood floor and muted sunlight, a large armchair, a stack of first-rate books, a fudgy brownie, and a small black-and-white dog who sits beside you in the armchair, curled up like a trussed pot roast. But that is not my Monday.

I did, however, have a good lunch today, which was a decent trade. Sometimes I think a good lunch is the best we can hope for.

What you see up there, in the wok, is green cabbage stir-fried until it caramelizes at the edges, tossed with sambal oelek and soy sauce. I call it Cabbage with Hot Sauce. It doesn’t look like much to speak of, I know, and I’m sorry about that. But if you eat it alongside some toast and cheddar, or a fried egg, one with a nice, saucy yolk, you won’t think twice. I hope.

We’ve been eating cabbage this way for a while, but it’s such a plain, off-the-cuff method - hardly even a recipe, really - that until yesterday, it never occurred to me to mention it here. I guess it’s a little like the chickpea salad that way, although more feisty in flavor. Brandon came up with the idea a few years ago, when he was still living in New York. I was visiting him, and we had bought a green cabbage for some recipe that I now can’t remember, and after making whatever it was, half of the cabbage was still sitting in the crisper drawer. So one day, for a late breakfast, Brandon fished it out, sliced it into thin ribbons, and chucked it into a hot wok with a dribble of oil, a spoonful of hot sauce, and some soy sauce for seasoning. We ate it with hummus and pita, or maybe it was cheddar and some bread. I can’t remember. But it was delicious - spicy and earthy and a little sweet from the fire under the wok - and the next day, when I flew back to Seattle, I took the leftovers in a to-go container that we found in his housemate’s cabinet, along with a bagel and cream cheese from Absolute Bagels. It sounds like an iffy combination, but somehow it was spectacular, both hot and soothing, salty and sweet, and I was both so happy and so desperately sad to leave, and sometimes, when I sit very still and let my mind go to the places where it goes when I don’t stop it, I miss those days so much.

But luckily, I did marry him, and now I can have that cabbage any time, so it’s okay. It’s also nice that he has hands that photograph well, and that he doesn’t strangle me with them when I stand up in the middle of lunch and scream, “WAIT! DON’T MOVE. Where’s my camera? I’ve got to climb up on the chair....”

Anyway, so now the cabbage is yours. That’s what I’m trying to say. It’s not dinner party material, particularly, but if you have a soft spot for cabbage, and if you have some hot sauce rolling around in your refrigerator door, it is a very fine way to put them to use. We ate it for lunch yesterday, with fried eggs from the farmers’ market, and it was so simple and right that I decided that you needed to know about it. And the leftovers today, with a couple pieces of toast and some slices of sharp white cheddar, something rich and cooling, made me feel all the more certain.

Have a good week, everyone.

Cabbage with Hot Sauce

This is more of a method than a recipe, so the quantities I’ve listed below are only approximate. Just taste as you go, and tweak to your liking. It’s hard to mess this up, as long as you get some color on the cabbage.

When choosing an oil for this, be sure to choose one with a high smoke point, the safest bet for high-heat cooking. We usually use canola oil, because I keep it around for making granola, but we have also used peanut oil and grapeseed oil. (Or, if you’re the type to have lard lying around - ooh la la - you could use that. It has a high smoke point too.) To learn more about high-temperature oils and fats, click over here or here.

½ head green cabbage, quartered and sliced into ¼-inch-thick ribbons
½ medium fennel bulb, thinly sliced (optional)
Canola oil, or another oil with a similarly high smoke point
¼ tsp. to 1 tsp. sambal oelek, to taste
Soy sauce, to taste
Salt, to taste (optional)

Place a wok over high heat. Let it heat thoroughly; it should even smell hot. Working quickly, pour in a glug of oil* and then immediately add the cabbage and the fennel, if using. Stir briefly to coat with oil, and then leave it alone for a minute or so, to allow the vegetables to begin to take on some color. Then add sambal oelek to taste, and stir again. (If you have a hood over your stove, turn on the fan! The hot sauce gives off spicy fumes.) Continue to cook until the vegetables are browned in spots and wilted. It won’t take long. Then add a glug of soy sauce, and stir well again. Taste, and season with more soy sauce or salt as needed.

Serve hot or warm.

Yield: 2-4 servings, depending on what else you’re having

* Be sure to have a lid nearby, or some baking soda, since hot oil always runs a risk of flaring up.


Anonymous Hannah said...

your lunch scene is hilarious...it's a good thing he doesn't strangle you :)

8:37 PM, January 26, 2009  
Blogger Elle said...

Mmm...I got a new wok recently that I've been experimenting with, so I'll have to try this out! The mention of it with hummus sounds great...

8:47 PM, January 26, 2009  
Anonymous Isabelle said...

I'm on a cabbage kick at the moment (pork and cabbage soup, pickled cabbage, coleslaws and so on and so forth) and I'm totally having this for dinner with some char siew. Yum.

8:47 PM, January 26, 2009  
Blogger Jesse said...

Most of my favorite meals are this simple. I know what you mean, it doesn't even occur to you to mention them.

9:15 PM, January 26, 2009  
Anonymous Carolyn Jung said...

I think cabbage is one of the world's most under-rated veggies. We often stick up our nose at it, forgetting how vital it is to some of our most favorite dishes: cole slaw, great veggie soups, stir-fries, and fish tacos. Here's a toast to cabbage in the new year.

9:17 PM, January 26, 2009  
Blogger jess said...

I just came across your blog today and I must say-- I love the Polaroids! And I do love how simple this dish is. I'm going to have to try it sometime!

9:19 PM, January 26, 2009  
Blogger Mary Casper said...

Our landlords bought us a new fridge this weekend and there is exactly one half a head of cabbage clunking around in that pristine crisper drawer. That makes me especially excited to do it up this way.

Oh and me, I'd take any day over a Sunday too, because Sundays always lead to Mondays...

9:38 PM, January 26, 2009  
Blogger kairu said...

I've always cooked cabbage this way, only without hot sauce, just a slosh of soy sauce, and I love it. Usually I chop the leaves into big chunks, though. I'll try it your way, with the sambal oelek and sliced into ribbons.

9:41 PM, January 26, 2009  
Blogger Laura said...

I was so touched to read the story that comes with your cabbage :) I also live in Seattle, with my boyfriend living far, far away in Philadelphia. It'll be a few more years before I move back, so we're making do with long plane trips. My honey always makes me a few of his impossibly delicious dishes when I visit--somehow connecting food with a time in your life just comes naturally. I know one day I'll look back on these days fondly, but I can't help but wish that we will be in the same city as soon as possible. Le sigh.

I love your writing, and your photography. Sometime, will you let us in on your secrets of staging and editing your pictures?

10:01 PM, January 26, 2009  
Anonymous charlemagne said...

your writing is so lovely. it feels like warm sun on the porch on a breezy day sometimes, and is just the sort of thing this bad day calls for. thank you.

10:01 PM, January 26, 2009  
Blogger Kitt said...

Ha! I can see (and empathize) with the "Don't move!" scene.

Your cabbage sounds a little like hot Indian slaw, but I like the idea of getting a little flaming action going, too!

10:17 PM, January 26, 2009  
Anonymous Jackie said...

I do love cabbage, so I'll look forward to trying this. Mostly I love your writing style - can't wait for your book!

10:42 PM, January 26, 2009  
Blogger deborah said...

this kind of reminds me of a sri lankan cabbage dish which involves mustard seeds and tumeric. and strangely enough used to eat it with cheese on toast when i was a kid!

11:02 PM, January 26, 2009  
Blogger Gemma said...

That sounds great, cabbage ideas always well received but Monday's, I agree, not so much.

I've said it before but I love your table. I think my boyfriend possibly would strangle me if I jumped up to take photos too often. I give him his food while I photograph mine as it is...

11:48 PM, January 26, 2009  
Blogger Lauren said...

Yum! This looks amazing! Thanks for sharing this with us.

11:50 PM, January 26, 2009  
Blogger kickpleat said...

this looks like something i eat often...there's something about wilty sauteed cabbage that i really love. luckily too, my husband is also happy to dig in. lovely!

11:54 PM, January 26, 2009  
Blogger Simon said...

One of your most deliciously beautiful postings ever. From the image of Jack to the image of you in an airport with leftovers. The dull Monday made shiney (in the Whedonesque sense) with the simple pleasures of food and being able to reach out and love the hand that loves you. The pictures really illustrate this quite well, too--your photograph of your husband's hand with the wedding ring, the plates going from emptiness to fullness. Brilliant post!
And, yes, can't wait to try the recipe.

12:20 AM, January 27, 2009  
Blogger shari said...

i'm always telling tom not to move. he's a good sport usually, and it sounds like brandon is too. i love this simple recipe and am looking forward to trying it. always nice to have a way to use up vegetables in the fridge. xoxo

3:44 AM, January 27, 2009  
Anonymous sue bette said...

Unlike everyone else in the world kind of enjoy Monday and tend to dread mid-week a bit more, so I'll sub your opening paragraph in for Wed. and be all set!
This is a great throw together recipe, and I am always on the look-out for something new to do with cabbage!

4:46 AM, January 27, 2009  
Anonymous Luisa said...

Since you first told me about this on your Flickr page, I make this about once a week (without the fennel). It's so beloved that Ben even tried to make it himself one time (when I wasn't yet home for dinner). He didn't know how much hot sauce to use and made it inedibly spicy, but still! In my mind I call it M&B's cabbage... :)

5:20 AM, January 27, 2009  
Blogger Mark Scarbrough said...

Thank God you did marry him. Simple dishes like this are the closest thing we come to heaven. And if you had heaven on a Monday, then it wasn't a Monday, no?

(And in that arm chair, may I suggest Anthony Trollope's HE KNEW HE WAS RIGHT. Just finished it. Dynamite. Funny and sad, all at once.)

5:36 AM, January 27, 2009  
Blogger Adrienne said...

The simplest meals really are the best, aren't they? This cabbage sounds very satisfying.

5:38 AM, January 27, 2009  
Anonymous Kylie said...

I often do this same thing, dashing to find the camera and then precariously perching to get the right angle. We're lucky to have people in our lives who laugh at us when we do this, and even appreciate the resulting photos. Happy Tuesday.

5:59 AM, January 27, 2009  
Blogger maggie said...

So perfect. I am happy with any cooked veggies and an egg, and this combination is so appealing, especially in winter.

6:05 AM, January 27, 2009  
Anonymous Sara said...

this does sounds good enough to turn a monday around...

6:21 AM, January 27, 2009  
Blogger SYK said...

Funny, I always have leftover cabbage lying around and no idea what to do with it. The best I could come up with is sausage stir fried with cabbage but I will give this recipe a try next time. Or maybe, add sausage to this recipe! Mmm.

6:23 AM, January 27, 2009  
Anonymous Ricki said...

I LOVE cabbage, and this sounds like the perfect way to use it--quick, easy, delicious. I even liked bok choy when I made it that way--almost anything is better caramelized in a wok! Thanks for the recipe. And Brandon does have a lovely hand. ;)

6:36 AM, January 27, 2009  
Anonymous Melissa said...

I make this dish with garlic and sriracha in place of the fennel and sambal oelek. But fennel could be an interesting change...
It's also lovely with purple cabbage!

6:49 AM, January 27, 2009  
Blogger Joanna Goddard said...

this looks delicious! i love your writing :)

6:51 AM, January 27, 2009  
Anonymous Binsy said...

Hi Molly,
Long-time reader but first time commenter. Your recipe immediately reminded me of a cabbage curry that I frequently make with grated coconut. I don't know if you are a coconut fan but if so, definitely give it a try!
(sorry-my blog is in definite need of updating so it looks a bit sad right now but the recipe is yummy!)

6:59 AM, January 27, 2009  
Anonymous Erin said...

This is one of my favorite ways to have cabbage! On occasion I toss in some sesame seeds or add a shallot, delicious. It is really good with wide noodles and of course an egg.

7:02 AM, January 27, 2009  
Blogger Anna said...

thanks for the beautiful post. so thoughtful and lovely to read

7:07 AM, January 27, 2009  
Blogger City Girl said...

Yum! I got back on a cabbage kick 3 weeks ago - first there was a red cabbage, then a green one, and this week I am on a kale and chard bender, but I am thinking Sunday is going to mean the purchase of another green cabbage! And half will end up with some sambal oelek!

7:12 AM, January 27, 2009  
Blogger Zoomie said...

Had to laugh at "freezing" Brandon while you go for your camera - that happens in our house, too!

7:15 AM, January 27, 2009  
Blogger The Mouse said...

I DO have a soft spot for cabbage! what a lovely way to put it.

7:21 AM, January 27, 2009  
Anonymous Dana McCauley said...

Funny post! My pet peeve these days are frigid days. I'd take a Monday if it was balmy and pleasant over the Saturdays we've been having here in Toronto. Too, too cold.

This is a good idea for cabbage, btw. I think I'll try it myself sometime soon.

7:24 AM, January 27, 2009  
Blogger Leslie said...

Cabbage + asian hot sauce + soy sauce = love. A few of my favorite things! And these days, I love that cabbage is about as inexpensive a food as you can get!

7:46 AM, January 27, 2009  
Blogger Laura said...

This is my kind of recipe! This was so beautifully written...now I can finally put my finger on why I love your blog so much. Not only is the food amazing, but you have such a lovely way with words.

7:56 AM, January 27, 2009  
Blogger Anne Zimmerman said...

My boyfriend is a huge cabbage fan -- I am recently re-introduced to it and loving it. He would appreciate this simple dish, maybe I'll whip it up for a weekend lunch. He'd be impressed with my creativity (or your creativity!)

8:31 AM, January 27, 2009  
Anonymous kyrie said...

My kiddos LOVE cabbage sauteed until it's a bit carmelized (they're 3 and 2)- I don't even put anything in it, just a bit of pastured butter at the end. Cabbage is always the thing they beg for first at the grocery store! We call them "cabbage noodles."

Next time I'll have to hold some back to make spicy for the grownups :)

8:34 AM, January 27, 2009  
Anonymous poppy@mixedgreensblog.com said...

Cabbage is one of the best veggies we can get at the farmers market this time of year. I just made a batch of sauerkraut. It's always great to have suggestions for simple dishes....thank you.

8:53 AM, January 27, 2009  
Blogger hannah said...

someone asked david this weekend if he minds that i take so many pictures. he said not really, only when we are on a date and it breaks the mood. i can live with that. and i can live with food like this. simple food. good food. mmmm.

8:58 AM, January 27, 2009  
Blogger mary said...

Oh Molly,

This is just the sort thing I love to find on your site. A dish that is so simple and so delicious that it effortlessly slips into your repertoire and puts the produce knocking around in the bottom of the refrigerator to good use. (Those chickpeas have become a lunch time staple for me. But I'm always on the lookout for other good unfussy lunches.)

9:30 AM, January 27, 2009  
Blogger Elmwood Stock Farm said...

Yum! I just made this with the lonely half an apple sitting next to my forgotten hunk of cabbage. Delicious!

9:34 AM, January 27, 2009  
Anonymous Dallas from BitchinKitchen said...

Thanks for providing me with this cheap and delicious looking recipe. I wasn't sure what kind of dinner I was going to make tonight with the 5 bucks I have, but you have solved my problem!

10:41 AM, January 27, 2009  
Blogger Mama JJ said...

These are the good recipes to know: the ones that are so basic that you don't even think of them as recipes---the kitchen minutia, if you will.

Your description of the mid-dinner photo shoot made me laugh. My kids are so used to it by now---they just roll their eyes, and, bless their hearts, wait patiently. (My husband is a little less patient, but he stoops to humor me, bless HIS heart, I guess.)


10:49 AM, January 27, 2009  
Blogger Kristin said...

it seems like every winter we have cabbage coming out our ears (not literally because that would be gross). this sounds like a nice way to use some of it up. thanks!

10:57 AM, January 27, 2009  
Blogger Caroline said...

This sounds delicious. The awesome thing is that I happen to have a head of cabbage lying around that I was planning on making it tonight. Originally, I wanted to make your recipe for braised cabbage with poached eggs (a big time favorite around here), but now I'll try this one with fried eggs.

11:03 AM, January 27, 2009  
Anonymous Cat said...

Oh, what amazing timing. As I was sitting down to my lunch today (also a good one; rice and beans with this chipotle dip* and this slaw**) I was wondering what to do what the other half of cabbage. And now, dinner!

As always, thanks for providing just the recipe I need :)

chipotle dip http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Chipotle-Dip-100902

slaw (i used green cabbage in place of slaw mix)

11:43 AM, January 27, 2009  
Blogger Jeff said...

I put this in the wonderful category of "chow" rather than "cuisine". I'm a big believer in chow. With a bit of a head of cabbage in the fridge and doing any of a number of endless variations on this theme on the blank canvas, you will not go hungry and will be healthy and satisfied.

Some of my musings on this theme are here. and here. and
here. Which got me to realize how often I've written about cabbage!

Great pics on this post by the way...something about them that resonated. Thanks.

11:46 AM, January 27, 2009  
OpenID bevw said...

Thanks for this. It's always good to have a new way to prepare cabbage, and it sounds delish. I love sambal.

Also, thanks for being so damned inspiring.

11:50 AM, January 27, 2009  
Anonymous Hillary said...

I love hot sauce on just about anything so cabbage will certainly do. Thanks for lending us one of your stapels.

12:02 PM, January 27, 2009  
Anonymous Mel H said...

Is that a Caphalon wok I see in the picture? Imagine that...I have the exact same one. It must be a sign that I need to catch up on reading your blog...and try your spin or Brandon's I guess on cabbage. With fennel. Hooray fennel!

12:51 PM, January 27, 2009  
Anonymous rightbankgirl said...

Absolute Bagels is my all time favorite!! Their egg bagel is the greatest. And the cinnamon raisin. And . . . pretty much everything they make. When I lived in NY, I definitely gained a few pounds thanks to them.

1:02 PM, January 27, 2009  
Anonymous Michelle said...

This is pretty much a staple in our house, although it always has onions and ramen noodles as well. With a couple of eggs or leftover bits of meat, it makes a wonderful meal.

1:53 PM, January 27, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm so far down the comments, you probably won't even see this, but I notice what looks like mismatched ironstone plates in your photos. Are they just props or do you collect white ironstone plates from thrift and antiques stores? I have so been wanting to do that and simply haven't gotten started. Any suggestions? Oh, yes, a million thanks for your wonderful vegetable recipes...if I'm ever to be executed (though I cannot think of a reason why) I would want your boiled kale recipe with a fried egg to be my last meal...well, maybe this cabbage one as "dessert." Thanks for all you do. I have no blog, so, signed: expat39520@hotmail.com

2:28 PM, January 27, 2009  
Blogger natalia said...

a good lunch is a wonderful thing.
instantly puts me in a good mood.
and simple lunches are just delightful.

2:39 PM, January 27, 2009  
Blogger Warm Bunny said...

I am finally finding uses for the Turbo Cooker I bought off of the television years ago. This is one of those dishes that we can whip up quickly in it! Turbo cabbage. Yes. I'm there.

3:13 PM, January 27, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Got my hands on an advanced copy of your book - and have incorporated a few recipes into my favorites rotation. My husband agrees about the French Toast; there is no going back.

4:04 AM, January 28, 2009  
Blogger Anna said...

I ended up spending most of my evening on your Flikr from the black and white dog link that I forgot to go back to the Orangette post. I couldn't forget for long, though, because eventually I remembered that someone was going to tell me what to do with my huge cabbage in the fridge. Thanks!

8:29 AM, January 28, 2009  
Blogger Chelsea said...

I've been following your blog for quite some time, but this is my first comment. I'm slowly getting over my "stage fright" of commenting. I recently started my own blog in which I reference you, so I though I should drop by and say "Hi". And tell you what an inspiration you are. It doesn't matter how simple the recipe is that you blog about. It's just wonderful getting a small glimpse into your life. Thank you.

8:55 AM, January 28, 2009  
Blogger Loblollie said...

Your writing is top notch in this post. Loved it.

2:37 PM, January 28, 2009  
Anonymous Joy the Baker said...

lovely post... especially after the monday i had. here it is, wednesday already and i still feel like i'm trying to recover. i also smiled because i can often be found standing atop dining room chairs trying to get the perfect food shot.

4:23 PM, January 28, 2009  
Blogger the letters i wish i'd written said...

I don't know if you've ever read, Like Water For Chocolate by Laura Esquivel, but if you haven't you should, I think you would like it. Reading your stories feels like sitting in a kitchen with a friend and swapping recipes, your blog is delightful!

1:43 AM, January 29, 2009  
Anonymous Susan said...

Hi Molly,
We had half of a leftover cauliflower in our fridge (the rest had gone into making mariachi mac & cheese from the Beecher's Pure Food cookbook) and I had no idea what to do with it. I searched through your recipes & found carmelized cauliflower. We made it & my husband could not believe it was cauliflower. it reminded me of the fabulous french fries you sometimes get with the crispy outside and melting creamy insides. Thank you so much! You made our day.


8:13 AM, January 29, 2009  
Blogger Nova said...

OMG -- I love cabbage this way! have for years. Husband says it maked the house smell - I think it's worth it. I like it with onions[camelized] and sometimes I put in an egg.

12:46 PM, January 29, 2009  
Anonymous Karen said...

Ok, I admit to being a little skeptical, but I had a big green cabbage wedged in my crisper drawer and...yum. Having neither fennel nor sambal oelek, I substituted shallots and sriracha. Did I mention...yum?

4:53 PM, January 29, 2009  
Anonymous Sad Too Sometimes said...

Great loves too must be endured.

5:51 PM, January 29, 2009  
Blogger Cheryl A said...

This sounds great.
Speaking of your man, how is the restaurant coming along?

9:30 PM, January 29, 2009  
Blogger Teresa said...

I love this. Thanks for the inspiration! I made the cabbage with oyster sauce instead of sambal oelek, and it was yummy with an egg for breakfast.

9:51 PM, January 29, 2009  
Blogger ~Dale~ said...

I just recently came across your blog and it's an absolute joy to read. Thank you. :)

7:41 AM, January 30, 2009  
Anonymous Devon said...

Thanks for sharing; I always love your simple veggie ideas best. I have a half a cabbage in that fridge right now . . . I used the first half for a wintertime salad (with parsley, shaved beet, apple, blue cheese) . . . Bring on the spicy cabbage!

2:09 PM, January 30, 2009  
Blogger Ginger said...

Oh Molly. I made this the other night with some shredded carrot and eating it somehow reminded me of my love for moo shu pork. So I did it all over again the next day with some extra mushrooms and onions and a little scrambled egg and chucked them into some thin whole wheat crepes. A blob of homemade hoisin sauce = heaven! Long live cabbage.

2:42 PM, January 31, 2009  
Blogger stephanie levy said...

Hi Molly,

Just checking in and enjoying all of your cooking adventures as usual. I must try out that Chocolate Whiskey cake... yum!

I wanted to let you know that I have a new "artists who blog" site where all of my past, current, and upcoming interviews will be posted (your interview is of course included). It would be great if you could drop by:

Your book cover looks great, I am also such a fan of Camilla Engman (got her 2009 calendar this year) - and I can't wait to see your cookbook in real life! Big, huge congratulations on everything!

All the best,

2:50 PM, January 31, 2009  
Blogger Laura said...

I made this as an accompaniment to slow roasted Korean pork shoulder, and it was a HUGE hit! I used napa cabbage which I thought was extremely nice...thanks so much for the recipe idea!

10:35 AM, February 01, 2009  
Anonymous laura said...

Ahh, Cabbage! Beautiful post - thanks. It reminded me of my favorite cabbage preparation for these almost-early-spring days: Cut into large wedges and steam, then drizzle with a bit of balsamic whisked into melting butter. It's turned a few of my gray Monday's around.

9:14 PM, February 01, 2009  
Blogger Miss Kate said...

Ah, cabbage! And in a wok, no less. Anything cooked in a wok is OK by me. :-)

10:40 AM, February 02, 2009  
Blogger Claudia said...

Cabbage: Not my favorite food - unless it's mixed in with lots of tasty stuff and is just filler. So why did I read your blog and feel a sudden urge .... no - necessity to go out and purchase a head of cabbage?

12:47 PM, February 02, 2009  
Anonymous Rebecca said...

Just ovely photos and writing, as always. Thanks, Molly.

2:03 PM, February 02, 2009  
Blogger rebecca said...

this is tonight's dinner.

it's certain to be another cabbage success just like the savoy gratin.

he does have nice hands.

i finally finished the last of the triple layer peppermint bark. i've been eating it all by myself a piece a day since christmas. must make more.

4:14 PM, February 02, 2009  
Blogger TexasDeb said...

Made this for lunch Saturday but not in a wok, in an electric skillet. Turned out great anyway. Blogged about it here. Absolutely delicious stuff - looking forward to many many reruns.

4:51 PM, February 02, 2009  
Blogger jbeach said...

Mmm mmm! Your simple recipes are my absolute favorite. I am completely addicted to your kale with chickpeas and the kale fritatta!

Cabbage is a miraculous veg. Sooo many variations! How about kimchi? Do you like it, hate it, never tried it? If you're feeling adventurous, try these easy breezy Kimchi pancakes. Another addiction of mine...

9:41 PM, February 02, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think this is so sweet, the way you love the dish so much because your husband introduced you to it!! Sometimes the memory attached to a particular food is more than half our love of it!! Cheers!

3:13 PM, February 04, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This reminded me of a recent recipe that Leah Eskin had in the Chicago Tribune Magazine. Same combination of cabbage and egg, but steamed rather than woked. Is that a word? I tried it and my husband and I both loved it. Now, I'll try yours. Sounds yummy and simple. What's not to love?

6:54 PM, February 04, 2009  
Anonymous Leah said...

Oh Molly...thank you for this! It was just the thing that a negative 15 degree (Celsius) night called for - smoky, spicy, satisfying... and cheap! And it was even better for lunch today.

9:43 AM, February 05, 2009  
OpenID 8junebugs.com said...

I didn't do cabbage until a host made a slaw with red and green cabbage, carrots, and poppyseed dressing.

Oh. My. God.

So, having had my eyes opened, I'm totally going to try this.

8:37 AM, February 06, 2009  
Blogger Wendy said...

I had to laugh about you getting pictures for your blog. The other day my husband said, "Don't blog this." He's started figuring out he's unwittingly fallen into a reality show. I feel bad for him but am unmoved to rescue him. Not in the slightest. :)

5:45 AM, February 08, 2009  
Blogger Sara said...

My boyfriend adores raw cabbage [he likes to snack on wedges he steals off the cutting board when I'm making salad] and coleslaw, kimchi, and sauerkraut are some of his favorite foods but he HATES cooked cabbage... yet he loved this dish! Thanks for helping me convert him to the dark side :)

11:33 AM, February 09, 2009  
Anonymous Olga said...

Mmm, what a great dish! I wouldn't have thought it would be this amazing, from such simple ingredients. Thank you! I didn't brave sambal oelek (that has fish sauce, right? My husband is not into it), but used Sriracha. Added rice thread noodles at the end and seasoned it again. Delicious.

8:50 PM, February 10, 2009  
Anonymous Mimi said...

Okay, it's Monday and I am eating your delicious cabbage!

1:05 PM, February 16, 2009  
Blogger Flame Thrower said...

wow, you have made me look at cabbage in a whole new way!

9:40 PM, February 17, 2009  
Blogger catherine said...

Thank you for your beautiful blog. It always brightens my day. I just made the cabbage and it is perfect.

5:12 PM, February 19, 2009  
Anonymous chia said...

the way my mum does it, malaysian/indian/chinese style, is to fry mustard seeds, cumin, turmeric powder, shallots, till fragrant and popping.
then adding cabbage strips. and the final touch, scrambling in an egg (just like how you do it in fried rice). bit of soya sauce, salt and pepper to taste.yum.

careful with the turmeric or it ends up extremely neon yellow (and a little bitter)!

2:15 AM, February 28, 2009  
Anonymous Tammie Dooley said...

I tried this. Fantastic. There's another cabbage recipe that I love but has dropped from my routine. This post made me remember it. It's cabbage in cream and curry. Yummy!

2:53 PM, March 02, 2009  
Anonymous Claudia said...

Simple can be so good if done well - like this. I have a languishing half cabbage and it will go very nicely into this reincarnation, alongside or into evilchefmom's outrageous shredded beef tacos. With maybe cumin seeds, salt and Mexican hot sauce for the cabbage fry, for an ethnic substitution.

7:27 PM, March 03, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just tried this and LOVE it! So does my 7 year-old son. He and I consumed almost the whole thing.

I love your site!


3:28 PM, March 06, 2009  
Blogger Lorna said...

This yummy meal inspired me to make a similar thing, only with brussel sprouts... read more on my blog at http://www.CanOpenerNotRequired.com

thanks for the amazing inspirations... I also covet your photography.

8:49 PM, March 10, 2009  
Anonymous NYCookery said...

This is great and simple, but I'm not a huge fan of the (most common) Huy Fong Foods sambal oelek because I find it to be way too vinegar-y. Instead, I tried this recipe by making my own sambal oelek in a food processor using fresh red chilis (dry roasted in a skillet), brown sugar, rice wine vinegar, fresh ginger, and salt. It took about 5 minutes to make. The flavor was definitely worth the added time.

6:21 AM, March 19, 2009  
Blogger Caredwen said...

I made this tonight alongside a red pepper and chicken stirfry. My mother pronounced it "sublime." Needless to say, it's definitely going to become a regular part of our rotation.

8:35 PM, March 19, 2009  
Blogger Karen said...

I made this for dinner tonight with the fresh head of cabbage my mom gave me from her garden. It was sublime. Totally delicious and awesome! Thank you!

7:43 PM, March 27, 2009  
Anonymous Greg Paulhus said...

Just came across this post, nice to see you're using canola oil. We use it all the time in all kinds of cooking and baking. One of my clients is a consumer awareness org for canola oil, their website has a bunch of recipes that use canola oil.

www.canolainfo.org/recipesHope you don't mind the plug. Their site is a pretty good resource.

1:49 PM, April 28, 2009  
Blogger Sara said...

Just made this for the first time last week (and then promptly followed it with a second making). I subbed white onion for the fennel the second time around and it was still lovely. I would never have thought of combining these flavors and it was so soul-satisfying.
Thanks :)

3:20 PM, June 06, 2009  
Blogger Janine said...

I made this for lunch today, topped with fresh duck eggs, runny yolked and beautiful, just as you suggested. Was so good I had to post it in my blog. http://9cooks.blogspot.com/2010/01/will-trade-for-duck-eggs.html
Thanks for the recipe, I will be back for more--many, MANY more!!

12:48 PM, January 13, 2010  
Anonymous Jen/YVR said...

I loves me some fried cabbage. I think it's my German-Russian background. My default setting for fried cabbage, though, is bacon and onions. I was raised on beroch, a bun stuffed with fried cabbage, bacon, onions and tons of black pepper, made by my great-grandmother. My mom also made something she always called 'lazy-man's cabbage rolls,' which I now recognize as more of a cabbage fried rice.
Just fry up a good handful or so chopped bacon, then to the crisp bacon and rendered fat, add a diced half an onion and a half a small cabbage, sliced thinly. Season well with black pepper. Once the cabbage has cooked down a bit, add in cooked rice - leftover from the night before is best. Freshly cooked rice tends to be a bit too moist. Stir well over the heat, letting the rice fry up a bit and warm though, then generously season with Chinese/dark soy sauce. If I have them, I also toss in a handfull of frozen peas.
When I make this, I have to limit how many bowls I will let myself eat in one sitting, being sure to leave some for the next day - it's just as good reheated the next day.
Fried cabbage + hot sauce = something new I think I'm gonna like.

11:17 PM, January 20, 2010  
Blogger Ngoc said...

This was wonderful! I tossed it with soba noodles to make the perfect one-dish supper. And thanks for sharing the story. :)

9:22 PM, January 28, 2010  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

yum! have been wanting to try this and grabbed some cabbage on sale for St. Patrick's Day. My husband doesn't like spicy food, so I made it with just the soy sauce then added sriracha to my portion.

10:16 AM, March 20, 2010  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

this has become a standard in our home! thanks!!

6:06 PM, March 25, 2011  
Blogger Melanie J Watts said...

Hi Molly, this recipe is one of my all time favourite lunches. I've changed it a bit and wanted to know if I could include it in my up coming book? Email me for more details Thanks, Melanie

9:41 AM, March 12, 2014  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi - was looking for a cabbage idea and came across your post. I'm sure the cabbage will be great but the post speaks for itself - kind of all warm and fuzzy - great stuff and thanks for sharing. Now being 6 years down the road, but some things are simply immutable. Regards, John.

7:16 AM, October 07, 2015  

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