25 March 2009

Why Cabbage Is King

When you're slumped on the couch watching an interview with Alice Waters while double-fisting Doritos and Reeses' Big Cups, it's time for an intervention.

Overindulgence requires a return to equilibrium, so I brewed up a pot of golden oolong- a toasty, well-balanced Chinese blend- and grabbed the jar of kimchi I made over the weekend.

Makes: 12 servings.

1 medium head white or Napa cabbage, separated into leaves
1/4 cup coarse salt
10 scallions
1 tablespoon hot red pepper flakes
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup minced garlic
1/4 cup sugar

1. Layer cabbage leaves in a colander, sprinkling salt between layers. Let sit in the sink for at least two hours, until leaves are wilted. Rinse and dry leaves.

2. Mix together scallion, red pepper flakes, soy sauce, garlic and sugar in a large bowl. Add cabbage and toss to blend. Serve immediately or pack into glass jars and refrigerate.

It may not be the most authentic version of this Korean staple, but you can blame Mark Bittman for that- it's his recipe, from How to Cook Everything Vegetarian. But it is quick, simple, and surprisingly full-flavored for something so effortless; cooked with a bit of rice, it makes for a bold one-pot meal that has spicy, salty and sweet in every bite.

And somehow, more healthy than Doritos and Reeses.

Add some avocado slices on top, and you'll want to finish off the entire pot along with your oolong (which, I just noticed, is incredibly versatile, as it's equal friends with salty and sweet foods).

Or maybe that's just me overdoing it again.

Kimchi Rice

Heat 2 tablespoons sesame oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add one scallion, chopped, and saute 2 minutes. Stir in 1 1/2 cups Japanese (sushi) rice and saute 2 minutes, stirring; add 1/2 cup kimchi, chopped, and cook 2 minutes more. Stir in 2 1/2 cups water, bring to a boil, then cover and lower to a simmer. Cook 20 minutes, then turn off heat and let sit for 10 minutes. Sprinkle with soy sauce before serving.


cha sen said...

A fresh batch of stir-fried tofu would taste great with kimchi and rice, don't you think?

I hate it too when I get into a junk food jag.

Anonymous said...

Man Doritos and Reeses haha good stuff but certainly not good for you! Though I am not a huge fan of cabbage, I believe that this looks and sounds extremely good!

melanie said...

your site makes me hungry! lol ^_^

Anonymous said...

i'm getting hungry too...
kimchi with out much work and time for waiting, i'll certainly try that recipe!

Unknown said...

Homemade kimchi is the best!