The cabbage question hasn’t fully been answered yet. Partly because we had fallen behind, but also because we were being delivered kimchee on a regular basis by my brother and sister-in-law. So not only have we been trying to our own cabbage, but also theirs! This overabundance of cabbage has led to some culinary frustration.
I resorted to harassing my mom via email. Her responses were not the quickest, but she was very adamant that I cook the cabbage and then season it as I want later. Every time I would suggest something new – cabbage soup, stuffed cabbage, stew, her response was the same. When I asked about sauerkraut, I could feel her starting to get annoyed.
Sauerkraut takes 3 weeks to ferment. My plan of turning our fresh cabbage into sauerkraut to be used for bigos in a week was trashed. I did what any sane person would do. I ignored her suggestions and started to search my cookbooks, but it seems that cabbage is a neglected ingredient.
I settled on something fairly simply – a variation on the kimchee fried rice we have been eating to consume that other cabbage. I decided to use some curry spices that were given to us a few months ago. I began by setting a cup of brown rice to cook, and then chopped an entire head of cabbage. This in itself required some knife sharpening. I sauteed an onion and then added all of the cabbage. Be warned, that this will overwhelm your pan.
I let the cabbage slowly cook down and started to season it as it softened. First with some salt, and then with garam masala and crushed red pepper flakes. I added the softened cabbage to the large bowl with the rice and a cup of grated carrots. I mixed the entire thing and served it with some browned tofu. At that point we just seasoned it a with a little bit of soy sauce – and the end result was an easy yet filling meal. And there are no worries about either of us getting scurvy.
There is still one head of cabbage left in the fridge, but I am hoping to take advantage of the winter break to make stuffed cabbage. There is the issue of owning a meat grinder, and I feel that some walnuts and mushrooms would be great ground up and stuffed into cabbage.