Post by: Larissa Pham | Men’s Journal
Brassicas (think kale, brussels sprouts, and even the humble rutabaga) are trending. Crunchy, cruciferous veggies are in, prized for their subtle, nutty flavor and nutrient-packed punch. On our radar is cabbage—yes, cabbage!—which is nearly in season. But even though the best heads are to be found in late fall into the winter, the stuff you can pick up now at your local grocery store can serve a very important purpose to sprucing up some of your dishes.
Cabbage is a versatile ingredient, crunchy and slightly sweet when raw; nutty and beautifully charred when roasted or grilled. (Literally just cut it into quarters and stick it on the grill for a perfect, summery side dish; drizzle with any variety of dressings, from olive oil, lemon and salt to garlicky fish sauce and hot peppers.) Says Frank Castronovo of Frank’s Prime Meats in Brooklyn, which makes its own lacto-fermented sauerkraut as well as a great slaw: “Cabbage is an amazingly nutritious ingredient prepared either way, raw or lacto-fermented. Besides the fact that the lacto-fermented dish tastes great, eating fermented foods adds probiotics to your diet and also helps your body absorb food better.”
It’s not hard to DIY your own kraut or kimchi to add a kick to your burgers or salads—see below—but if you’re not into pickling, try out these other great recipes from around the world, featuring cabbage salads, slaw’d, charred, and raw. Each preparation highlights a different aspect of this perfectly versatile vegetable.
- 1 head of cabbage
- 1 1/2 tablespoons salt
- Caraway seeds (optional)
- Large (2-quart) sterilized glass jar
- Remove the outer leaves of the cabbage and reserve. Quarter the remaining cabbage and cut out the core.
- Shred the quartered cabbage in a food processor or slice thinly by hand.
- Add the cabbage to a mixing bowl, sprinkle with salt and caraway, and mix well. Massage the mixture with clean hands until the mixture starts to release liquid, 5 to 10 minutes.
- Start cramming the cabbage into the clean jar, using your fist to pack it as tightly as possible and so the cabbage is submerged in its own liquid. Pour any leftover liquid from the bowl into the jar as well.
- Over the next 24 hours check to make sure the cabbage is still submerged. If it needs more liquid, make a brine by dissolving 1 teaspoon of salt into 1 cup of water and add as much as you need. It’s crucial that the cabbage remains entirely submerged to prevent mold growth, which will happen if it’s exposed to air. Filling up a bag with salted water to weigh down the shredded cabbage usually does the trick.
- Leave the jar to ferment for 3 to 10 days away from direct sunlight (room temperature is best). You can start tasting it after 3 days and once it’s to your liking, store it in the fridge, where it will keep for about 2 months.
- 1 head of green cabbage, preferably Napa cabbage
- 1 cup water
- 1 tbsp salt
- 1/2 bunch scallions cut into 1-inch lengths
For the kimchi paste
- 1/4 cup red pepper flakes
- 2 tbsp water
- 1 tbsp minced garlic
- 1/2 tsp minced ginger
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tsp sugar
- 2 tsp oyster sauce
- 1 tbsp Thai fish sauce
- Make the kimchi paste by blending all ingredients in a food processor.
- Dissolve the 1 tbsp salt in the 1 cup water.
- Chop the cabbage into bite-size pieces.
- Submerge the cabbage in the salt water for 2 hours, then drain.
- Add the kimchi paste and the scallions to the cabbage and blend thoroughly.
- Place the mixture into ziplock bags, leaving the top open. Squeeze the mixture until you’ve removed as much air from the bags as possible. Seal the bags. Refrigerate.
- The kimchi will be ready after one day and remain delicious for up to 2 weeks.
Vietnamese chicken cabbage salad, from Food Network
- One 5-pound whole chicken
- One 2-inch piece fresh ginger
- 2 medium red onions
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 large head of white cabbage (from about a 3-pound head)
- 1/2 small head purple cabbage (from about a 2-pound head)
- 3 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 6 cloves garlic
- 6 limes
- 2 red Thai bird chiles
- 1/3 cup Asian fish sauce
- 1 cup fresh mint leaves
- 1 cup fresh Thai basil leaves
- 1/2 cup roasted salted peanuts
- 1/2 cup store-bought fried shallots or onions
- Fried shrimp chips, for serving
- Place the chicken breast-side up in a high-sided pot that fits the chicken snugly. Fill the pot with cold water to about 1 inch above the chicken and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
- While waiting for the water to boil, cut the ginger into very thin rounds, peel and quarter 1 of the onions and add them and 1 tablespoon salt to the pot.
- Once the water reaches a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook, skimming and discarding any scum that floats to the surface of the poaching liquid, until an instant-read thermometer inserted between the breast and thigh of the chicken reads 165 degrees F, 30 to 35 minutes. (To take the temperature, use a pair of sturdy tongs to carefully lift the chicken out of the hot poaching liquid and insert the thermometer between the breast and thigh.)
- While the chicken is cooking, core the white and purple cabbages, very thinly slice them into ribbonlike strands and place the sliced cabbage in a large bowl; set aside.
- Fill a second large bowl a little more than halfway with equal parts ice and water, and use the tongs to add the cooked chicken to it; reserve the pot and poaching liquid. Leave the chicken in the ice water to cool completely, about 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, peel, halve and very thinly slice the remaining onion, and place it in a small bowl. Add the vinegar, oil, 1 teaspoon of the sugar, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Use your hands to gently massage the vinegar mixture into the onions until they begin to wilt slightly. Let the marinated onions sit at room temperature for at least 15 minutes and up to overnight.
- Discard the ice water, but keep the chicken in the bowl. Remove and discard the skin. Shred the chicken into large bite-size pieces; set aside.
- Add the chicken carcass to the poaching liquid, and return it to a simmer. Cook for 30 minutes, skimming off any fat and/or scum that floats to the surface. Strain the poaching liquid over a large bowl; discard the solids. Let this flavorful broth cool completely, and reserve it for another purpose. (It can be frozen in an airtight container for up to 3 months.)
- While the broth is cooking, make the dressing: Cook the remaining sugar and 1/4 cup water in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar has completely dissolved, about 5 minutes. Remove to a small bowl and let cool slightly.
- While the sugar mixture is cooling, finely grate the garlic, halve and juice the limes (about 1/2 cup of juice total) and slice the chiles into thin rounds. Whisk the fish sauce into the cooled sugar mixture; add the garlic, lime juice and chiles.
- To assemble the salad, add the chicken, marinated onions (and any residual liquid) and lime dressing to the cabbage bowl. Tear the mint and basil leaves into the bowl, and gently toss to combine. Season with additional fish sauce if needed. Let the salad sit for 15 minutes so the flavors can marry, then transfer to a large platter. Place the peanuts and fried shallots in separate piles beside the salad. Just before serving, gently toss together the salad, peanuts and fried shallots and any liquid that has accumulated at the bottom of the platter (the liquid has a lot of great flavor). Serve with the fried shrimp chips.
Indian cabbage salad, from Vikram Vij, of Vij’s
- 1 head green cabbage, in 1 inch x 1 inch x 3 inch pieces
- 1/2 cup canola oil
- 1 tsp asafoetida
- 1 Tbsp + 1 tsp black mustard seeds
- 1 1/2 cups plain yogurt, stirred (full-fat best; lactose-intolerant use stirred coconut milk)
- 1 Tbsp salt
- 1 Tbsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1 Tbsp ground coriander
- Place cabbage pieces in a colander and rinse well. Drain cabbage of any excess water. Heat oil in a large frying pan on medium-high for 1 minute. Add asafetida and allow it to sizzle for 10 seconds. Add mustard seeds and cook until you hear the first popping sound, about 1 minute. Immediately turn off the heat. (The popping sound means that the seeds have cooked and are beginning to burn.)
- After 5 minutes, stir in yogurt and turn on the heat to medium, stirring continuously for 1 minute. Add salt, cumin, turmeric and coriander. Cook for about 5 minutes, or until the oil glistens. Add cabbage and stir well. Make sure the masala and cabbage are completely combined. If you are ready to serve the cabbage, reduce the heat to low and continue cooking it for 5 minutes. Otherwise turn o¤ the heat and reheat on medium-high for 3 to 4 minutes just before serving. Can be used right away. Will keep refrigerated for up to 1 day in a sealed container, but this dish loses its texture after a day in the fridge.
Reference Article: http://www.mensjournal.com/food-drink/recipes/four-reasons-to-cook-with-cabbage-20150819?utm_source=zergnet.com&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=zergnet_1019522