I made this cabbage for dinner a few weeks ago and it was a big hit. It’s inspired by a dish I had in China, vinegary and spicy cabbage paired with yellow and red dried chiles. While I didn’t quite replicate it, it’s good enough for an encore and in a variety of formats. We had it first with black eyed-pea cakes and think it would make a great asian stew with hunks of beef. Alone, it’s completely vegan. We grow lots of cabbage on the farm, and the Wakefield, or cone shaped cabbage is my favorite. Any variety of cabbage including Napa will work with this recipe.
I used a huge amount of crushed red pepper, and the taste will vary depending on the variety of chilies you have. I’m trusting you know how spicy you’ll like this, so season this dish according to your spice preference! The garlic also, is according to taste. I used 4 cloves, but in my opinion the more the better! It’s also pretty liberal with tamari, so choose low-sodium or thin with water if necessary.
I find that the cabbage releases a lot of water while cooking, so additional liquid was not necessary, but you could add some water or stock if you prefer.
The cabbage cooks down a lot! When it’s done taste and adjust tamari and red pepper if necessary.
Spicy Braised Cabbage
1 large cabbage (any variety) outer leaves and core removed cut into 1/2 inch strips
4-8 cloves minced garlic
2-3 tablespoons tamari, divided
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 teaspoon-2 tablespoons crushed red pepper (you decide the heat!)
1 tablespoon neutral oil like coconut or olive
chopped cilantro to garnish (optional)
Heat the oil. Over medium low heat, add garlic and cook until sizzling. Add Cabbage, 2 tablespoons tamari, cider vinegar, and crushed red pepper. (remember you can always add more red pepper, but you won’t be able to take any out!) Stir to combine. Cover and cook over medium low heat for 30-40 minutes until cabbage is tender. Taste and adjust tamari and crushed red pepper. Garnish with cilantro if desired.