I know many of you may be wondering how I can categorize this post as Tasty Tuesday when it is about something as stereotypically reviled as steamed cabbage. It seems like the stuff of a Dickens novel. Trust me–A. thought the same thing the first time I asked him whether or not he liked cabbage. But stick with me! Cabbage is often on sale for SUPER cheap (i.e. the cabbage pictured in this post was purchased for a meager $0.50/lb at Kroger), and it can be a delicious, quick side dish.
First, cut your cabbage into little bits. I don’t know a great way to do this. This picture shows half a cabbage, which is all I use to feed A. and me. There is a pretty substantial core in the cabbage that you want to do your best to get out. Again, I am not great at this. Sometimes I just cut it all up and pick out the particularly sturdy bits as I transfer to the pan. I think the accepted method for de-coring is to make a diagonal cut on either side of the core after you’ve cut the cabbage in half. This removes a sort of triangular prism shaped piece that encompasses most of the core.
Once your cabbage is chopped (sliced? shredded? insert appropriate descriptor here), transfer it to a large skillet that has a lid. I add about a half cup of liquid for this amount of cabbage: 1/4 cup water and an additional 1/4 cup consisting of some combination of soy sauce, sesame oil, and rice vinegar. Once it’s in the pan and all tossed to coat, you can add more of any ingredient to taste. This particular batch turned out a bit weak for my tastes, but it’s not rocket science. Just play around with combinations until you like it; I think mine is different every time!
Place the lid on the pan and turn burner to high. As the liquid comes to a boil, steam will build up inside the pan, and that’s what you want! Let it steam for about 6-8 minutes or until desired level of floppiness is reached. I try to be REALLY careful to catch it before it turns to mush because A. doesn’t like soft vegetables (he would eat them all raw if given the choice). I’ve played around with turning the heat down or even off while it steams, but I really think leaving it on high works the best. As I said earlier this particular batch wasn’t my best, because in addition to not being flavorful enough, it was a mite undercooked. But again, it’s not rocket science!
The cooked cabbage won’t look a whole lot different from the uncooked cabbage, so don’t be alarmed.
Are there any foods you’re surprised to enjoy? What’s your favorite easy side dish?