In the night the cabbages catch at the moon, the leaves drip silver, the rows of cabbages are a series of little silver waterfalls in the moon. -Carl Sandburg
Cheap, packed with nutrition, and – yes – even beautiful, the virtues of cabbage are so often overlooked.
There are more bad jokes than poems written about it. Yet this cruciferous vegetable – when not overcooked into an unpalatable and distinctly smelly mush – offers an excellent source of vitamin C, folate, and a full range of other nutrients. It’s one of the world’s oldest cultivated vegetables, and is a staple part of diets around the globe.
There are more than 100 varieties of cabbage, but the most readily available in my part of the planet at this time of year are the hard green varieties that store well through the winter. They are cheap and stand up to a wide range of cooking techniques and flavors, and (in my opinion) could take on kale any day of the week and win.
This recipe for Sweet Thai Chili Cabbage is fast and easy to prepare. Use your favorite brand of chili sauce (you can find it most grocery stores) or make your own. (If you can’t find fresh hot peppers, dried chili pepper flakes will do.)
This cabbage goes well as a side dish – or served on top of rice with some crispy tofu, it makes a fine winter meal.
- 2 teaspoons / 10 ml vegetable oil
- 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- ¼ head of green cabbage, thinly sliced
- ½ cup / 125 ml Thai sweet chili sauce
- 2-3 tablespoons / 30-45 ml water (if needed)
- Heat oil over medium heat in pan.
- Add onion and cook until softened. Add garlic and cook 1-2 minutes longer. Do not let the onions and garlic brown.
- Add cabbage and stir. Let cook one minute, then add chili sauce.
- Bring vegetables to a simmer. Let simmer on low for approximately 5 minutes until cabbage is tender. You can add 2-3 tablespoons of water if needed to keep vegetables from sticking.
- If the cabbage is taking longer to become tender, cover and let simmer gently until done.