Friday, June 6, 2014

Chinese Cabbage with Vinegar

This Sunday at the Fairmount Neighborhood Farmers Market, you can look forward to a selection of grass-fed lamb cuts from Fair Valley Farm, including ground, stew meat, kabob, chops, roasts and chorizo, and Good Food Easy at Sweetwater Farm will have the following offerings: 

Strawberries, available by the flat for $32 (make some retro tapioca flamingo pudding)
Fava Beans (large and baby) and French sorrel (try these grilled favas and sorrel sauce)
Baby Beets 
Broccoli (delicious roasted in a salad)
Cabbage (Green, Red, Napa, & Savoy!)
Collard Greens (great wrappers for these rice parcels)
Fresh Herbs (cilantro, dill, oregano, sage, thyme) plus our own home-grown lemon grass!!
Garlic (baby stalks)
Kohlrabi (try in a dry curry)
New Potatoes
Spring Onions
Summer Squash
Lettuce, including ready-to-eat bagged mix

From Sweet Creek Foods:
Dill Pickles
Chili Dill Pickles
Bread 'N Butter Pickles
Pickle Relish
Blueberry, Strawberry, Blackberry, & Raspberry Fruit Spreads
Enchilada Sauce
From SLO Farm: Applesauce

Bean and Grains
Our own Polenta and Cornmeal!
Assorted from Camas Country Mill

Sweetwater Farm had a lovely selection of cabbage last week. Fermented cabbage may be all the rage these days, but this stir fried cabbage with black Chinkiang vinegar that I made from Fuchsia Dunlap's Every Grain of Rice is a great instant gratification dish. It has tangy, sour notes from the vinegar that highlight the caramelized char from the high heat cooking. 

I was initially incredulous about this recipe. The ingredient list is a mere four items -- cabbage, sugar, salt, vinegar -- and Dunlap has you blanch the cabbage, which seemed like a lot of work. But I'm glad I didn't skip this. The blanching is well worth doing so that you can stir fry the cabbage quickly and synchronously, rather than having half of your cabbage start to braise to mush while the other half is still hard, and when nicely seared, the cabbage really doesn't need more than the light sweet and salty seasoning and the splash of flavorful vinegar. Any cabbage will work with this preparation, but Dunlap's recipe calls specifically for Chinese or napa cabbage, which will be available at the market on Sunday.

Chinese Cabbage with Vinegar
adapted from Fuchsia Dunlop's Every Grain of Rice

1 small head of cabbage (~1.5 lb)
4 Tbsp cooking oil (such as canola)
1/2 tsp sugar
salt to taste
4 tsp Chinkiang vinegar 

1. Cut the cabbage into quarters and cut out the hard core. Slice each quarter into 1/2 inch slices. Bring a pot of water to boil and blanch the cabbage for a minute of two to soften the thicker parts of the leaves (will need a minute or two more for a thicker leaved cabbage than napa). Strain in a colander and shake dry.

2. Heat a large wok or skillet over high heat. Add the oil and swirl around, then add the drained cabbage and stir fry for a couple of minutes until some of the leaves are softened and seared in spots, but still have some crunch. Add the sugar and salt to taste for seasoning and texture, adding more salt or cooking a little longer if necessary. Pour in the vinegar, stir, and cook for just a few seconds to allow the vinegar to be incorporated. Remove the pan from the heat and serve.

No comments: