Posts Tagged 'cabbage'

Nasi Goreng (Indonesian Fried Rice)

I really, really love Southeast Asia. I’ve been to Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam, and would happily go back, preferably for an extended period of time. I still haven’t been to Indonesia, but that doesn’t stop me from wanting to explore some of their food.

I looked at a few different recipes for Nasi Goreng, and even though I’ve never had it I pretty much immediately knew I’d love it (since I adore Thai style fried rice and this didn’t look that different.) It’s incredibly simple – just fry up some garlic and shallot, add the rice, add some vegetables, add some sauce, and top with a fried egg.

The one thing you’ll need to find is Kecap Manis, which is sweet soy sauce (I found it at our Asian grocery store). It pretty much has the consistency of molasses, and is mostly sugar with some soy sauce flavoring. You only need a tablespoon, so it might work to make a sugar syrup and add some soy sauce, but I have no idea what kind of ratios you’d use. I realize that’s extremely helpful.

This isn’t completely authentic because I didn’t use shrimp paste, but this recipe is a great starting point for adding whatever vegetables or protein you may have on hand. Not pictured, but essential (at least according to me) is a ton of chili sauce on top!

(inspired by Epicurious and Simply Delicious)

2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 shallot, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
4 cups day-old cooked rice (I used half brown, half white)
1 1/2 cups chopped vegetables (I used about a cup of broccoli and half a cup of cabbage)
1 Tbsp kecap manis
1 egg per serving, fried
chili sauce (Sambal Oelek or Sriracha – optional)

Heat the oil in a large skillet. Add the shallot and garlic and cook for a few minutes, until soft and very fragrant.

Add the rice and cook, stirring, for 2-3 minutes. Stir in the vegetables and continue to stir fry until they are cooked. Turn off the heat, add the kecap manis, and mix well.

Divide among bowls and top each serving with a fried egg. Serve with extra kecap manis and chili sauce on the side.


Barbecue Tempeh with Spicy Coleslaw

I was going to post a brownie recipe today but this was WAY to good to keep from you. I happened to pick up Vegan Soul Kitchen at a used book store and how anyone let this book out of their hands is beyond me. I’m in love and I’ve only made two recipes (another one is in the works for dinner tonight).

This meal was definitely the highlight of Saturday, which was cold and rainy THE ENTIRE DAY.  I moved away from Portland for a reason, and California, you’re kind of letting me down.  It was okay though, because it made my 14 mile run kind of fun.  There’s something about running in the rain that’s incredibly soothing, it’s just AFTER that when you actually want to go out and do things that the rain is kind of a bummer.

The first five miles of the run were actually pretty hellish, and the rain had nothing to do with it.  I just am SO tired of feeling so slow.  Running 10:30 pace feels like it may as well be crawling, and to feel out of breath moving at that pace when I come to any kind of a hill just makes me feel incredibly lame.  I KNOW there’s an excellent reason for this, and somehow around mile 6 (coincidentally, right when I got to Golden Gate Park) I realized it didn’t matter how slowly I was running, it was just so awesome to be out there soaking up the rain and doing one of my absolute favorite things.

On the way back a guy passed me pushing a jogging stroller and I got really excited about pushing this kid on runs, just like my dad did with me.  I think a love of being active is one of the best gifts I’ve gotten from my family and I really hope I can pass it on to my kids.

I also love that my family ate a good home-cooked dinner together every night. And by good I mean my mom made sure there was always at least one serving of vegetables, usually two, and there was no way we were getting dessert unless we ate them. Now it just feels wrong to eat a dinner that’s vegetable-sparse. That’s why this recipe is so awesome. In the book, it’s a sandwich, but I wanted a plate with cornbread rather than heaping the tempeh and coleslaw on a bun. The sauce is spicy and not too sweet, and the coleslaw has just the right kick from cayenne. They work so well together! If you can make the coleslaw a couple hours in advance it really improves the flavor.

(adapted from Vegan Soul Kitchen by Bryant Terry)

3 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
3 Tbsp lime juice
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup tomato sauce
1 chipotle chile en adobo
3 Tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup agave
1 Tbsp ground cumin
pinch cayenne
1 lb tempeh, cut into thin strips

1/2 head green cabbage
1 medium carrot, julienned

1/4 tsp dijon mustard
2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
1 Tbsp agave
1 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp cayenne
3 Tbsp olive oil

To make the tempeh:
Preheat the oven to 350 F.

Combine the all the sauce ingredients in a blender (vinegar through cayenne) and puree. Toss with the tempeh strips, then arrange in a single layer in a 13 x 9″ baking pan.

Tightly cover the pan with foil and bake for about 45 minutes.

To make the coleslaw:
Combine the cabbage and carrot in a large bowl

Whisk together the dressing ingredients, then toss with the vegetables. Refrigerate 1-8 hours before serving.

Gado Gado (Indonesian Rice Salad)

I know spring has really started when my allergies go crazy, and this week, the fun began. I never had any allergy issues until I moved here, but now they show up right around my birthday every year, giving me really attractive red eyes and an awesome nasal-y voice. After about a week, I usually have so much congestion that I can’t really taste my food. And of course, nothing really works (I’ve tried pretty much every allergy drug there is).

So since I know that’s coming, I wanted to make something really flavorful and healthy, with lots of different textures. This is not only beautiful to look at thanks to all the different colors, it’s also loaded with nutrients. I am sure this peanut sauce isn’t totally authentic, because I looked up an Indonesian recipe and the real stuff has tamarind, lime, and coconut. But authentic or not, I love all the raw vegetables and the fragrant turmeric rice. The most crucial part is the crispy shallots on top. I know frying isn’t healthy, but it’s just a little bit, and the flavor and little crunch is absolutely worth it.

I diced up some of Trader Joe’s High Protein Tofu (extra firm) for protein, but if you eat meat, I think shredded or diced chicken would work well. The recipe also suggests diced hard-boiled eggs, which I could see being pretty good too.

(adapted from The New Moosewood Cookbook by Mollie Katzen)

serves 4-6

2 cups brown rice
3 1/2 cups water
1 tsp turmeric

6-8 cups washed, roughly chopped spinach
1 cup thinly sliced cabbage
3 carrots, shredded
3 tomatoes, seeded and diced
1 block high protein tofu, diced

1/3 cup peanut butter
2 tbsp rice vinegar
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 1/2 tbsp sugar or evaporated cane juice
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 1/2 tsp grated ginger
1/3 cup warm water

2 tbsp oil
1 shallot, thinly sliced and separated into rings

First make the rice, by combining the water, rice and turmeric in a rice cooker or by cooking on the stove.

Once the rice is cooked, fluff with a fork.

To make the peanut dressing, combine all ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth. Set aside

To make the crispy shallots, heat the oil in your smallest frying pan. When hot, add the shallots and stir occasionally until golden brown. Drain on paper towels.

To assemble each salad: Put down a bed of spinach (1-1 1/2 cups). Top with about 1/2 a cup of rice. Top the rice with some cabbage, carrot, tomato, and tofu, then pour some dressing over that and sprinkle with the shallots.

Hearty Cabbage Soup


I was mentally writing this blog post as I pureed this soup. I considered writing about how this is perfect for those chilly winter nights when it’s hard to warm up after shoveling snow all day, or how an icy breeze cuts through all the layers you pile on and a bowl of hot soup in front of the fire is so necessary at the end of a long, cold day.

Then I snapped out of it and realized that winter here means temperatures that just might dip below freezing a few times in the dead of night while daytime temperatures still climb up into the seventies. (Yes, people in Maine and Nebraska and North Dakota and everywhere else that has REAL winter, I realize I can’t even consider this winter at all).

But anyway, whether you live in the tropics or above the Arctic Circle, clear a night on your weekly meal plan for this soup. It might not be the most photogenic dish you could make, but it’s unbelievably creamy (but healthy!) with a nice dose of fiber and protein. It’s even vegan, if you forego the sprinkle of Parmesan at the end (but that cheese is awfully nice, if you choose to eat it). In short, whether it’s wintry where you are or not, there’s just no reason not to give this soup a try!

I left the skins on the potatoes and they still pureed nicely, but if you’re opposed to little brown specks in your soup (which is understandable), you can definitely peel the potatoes before you put them in. I used pinto beans that I cooked myself, but I’m sure canned beans (either pinto or navy or cannellini) would be nice.

2 tbsp olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium yellow onion, diced
3 small Russet potatoes, diced (peeled or not, it’s up to you)
4 cups water, divided
freshly ground black pepper
1 cup pinto beans with their liquid
1/2 head cabbage, shredded (about 4 cups)
fresh chopped parsley, for garnish
grated parmesan, for garnish (omit if vegan)

Heat the oil in a soup pot or large Dutch oven. Add the onion and saute for 3 or 4 minutes, until onions are soft.
Add the garlic, potato, and 2 cups of water. Add a few pinches of salt and pepper.
Bring to a boil over medium-high, then cover the pan for 30 minutes (until potatoes are very tender).
Stir in the other 2 cups of water and the beans, then puree with an immersion blender until very smooth.
Stir in the cabbage, turn heat down slightly, cover and simmer for about 10 minutes or until cabbage is tender.
Taste and adjust seasonings, then ladle into bowls and sprinkle on a little parmesan and parsley to serve.

White Bean Soup with Ham


This soup all started with the biggest white beans I’ve ever seen in my life. After doing some internet research, I don’t think they’re as big as the ones they eat in Greece, but they’re about an inch long before they’re cooked and, since I’d never seen dried beans like this before, I was a little intimidated.

Soup seemed like a natural choice, but I wasn’t sure what else I wanted to put in it. I read recently about “the holy trinity” of Cajun cooking – bell pepper, onion, and celery, and thought that would be a good place to start, but I thought it would be missing something if I didn’t put some carrots in there too. So I did. And some ham, because you don’t need much to add lots and lots of flavor. Finally, I decided some cabbage might be nice, because I just happen to always have some in my fridge (so I can whip up my new obsession at a moment’s notice).

If you’re like I was up until about 2 months ago, the thought of cooking your own dry beans seems like a complete waste of time since you can get them so easily and cheaply in a can (in most parts of the world). That is a completely valid point and I’m sure canned white beans would be fine here, and if you can’t find the giant beans I used, don’t worry.

With fall weather coming and the need for a steaming bowl of soup becoming stronger by the day, this is a great recipe to turn to. I’m hoping that by making excessive quantities of soup, the Seoul weather gods will get the hint and it will start feeling cooler. I feel like everywhere in the world has made the transition, but it still feels like summer here!

A note about seasoning – for a long time I was really afraid of adding too much salt, so I made pot after pot of bland, flat-tasting soup. I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to trust your taste buds, and just add a pinch at a time, stirring in between, until it tastes good to you.

1 tbsp butter
1 carrot
1 green bell pepper, stem, seeds and veins removed
1 rib celery
1/2 medium yellow onion
1/4 lb ham, cut in 1/4″ dice
4 cups thinly sliced cabbage
2 cups cooked white beans
6 cups water or broth

Cut the carrot, bell pepper, celery, and onion into 1/4″ dice.
Heat the butter in a large soup pot over medium, and add the vegetables. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes or until the vegetables are soft.
Add the ham and cook a few minutes more.
Add the cabbage, beans and water and simmer, partially covered, for about 30 minutes. Add additional broth or water if it looks like a lot has evaporated.
Taste and add salt and pepper – the amount you need will depend on the saltiness of the ham and whether you’re using broth or water.

Jijimi (Korean Vegetable Pancakes)

When I thought about moving to Korea, I imagined that I would become an expert on cooking Korean food. I knew I’d have a kitchen and full access to all the ingredients I might need to make just about any Korean dish I wanted.

I didn’t really think about the fact that I might not feel like making Korean food every day, or that what I’d end up craving about 80% of the time would be comfort foods from home (including things I never really even ate when I was still in America). But instead of making my own kimchi or perfecting bulgogi, I have been sticking to pretty basic non-Korean food.

I saw jijimi (also called buchimgae, according to my students) listed on a few menus (mostly drinking places, because apparently it’s usually a bar snack), and thought it sounded like something that was worth a try. I did a little web research, and ended up making this, which seems to be a cross between Japanese okonomiyaki and jijimi. There are numerous possibilities for adapting this recipe to include different vegetables and toppings, and I fully intend to experiment with it some more. I think it’s pretty tasty dipped in soy sauce mixed with vinegar or topped with kimchi, and of course, a nice cold beer would be a welcome accompaniment.


1 egg
1 cup flour
1 cup water
a generous pinch salt
2 c thinly sliced cabbage
1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions
1 tbsp sesame seeds
2 tbsp vegetable oil

for serving:
soy sauce and rice vinegar

Whisk together the water and egg, and gently stir in the flour and salt. Fold in the vegetables and sesame seeds. It won’t look like typical pancake batter, it will probably look more like coleslaw.

Heat the vegetable oil in a large skillet over high. Swirl the pan so the oil is evenly distributed. Pour the cabbage mixture into the pan and spread to the edges so it is evenly thick.

Cook 3 to 4 minutes each side, or until golden brown. If the bottom begins to burn but the top is still very runny, turn the heat down.

Flipping can be a bit of a challenge. If you need to, slide the pancake, cooked side down, onto a plate, and then invert back into the pan to finish cooking. When cooked through and golden on both sides, cut into quarters to serve.

Mix the soy sauce and rice vinegar in a one-to-one ratio for dipping, or top with kimchi.


Ginger Pork Cabbage Wraps


My husband came home from the store the other day with the largest head of cabbage I think I’ve ever seen. It’s pumpkin shaped, and barely fits into the produce drawer in the refrigerator. Cabbage is one of his favorite vegetables, so this was a big score for him… but for me, well, there are many vegetables I’d rather eat.

Still, I like to be accommodating, so I’ve been trying to dream up new applications for cabbage in the kitchen. You can only have so much cabbage stir fry or coleslaw (and this is coming from the girl with an incredibly high tolerance for repetition), so I knew I needed to branch out if we were ever going to get through the abundant quantity currently occupying the bulk of the refrigerator.

I would like to take a moment to convey my new-found affection for ground pork. It’s readily available here, and much cheaper than ground beef, so I’ve been using it much more often than I ever did at home (when I think I only ever used it in pot stickers). It just begs to be mixed up with great Asian flavors like sesame oil, soy sauce, and green onions, and I’m perfectly willing to oblige. I realize it’s not the healthiest meat out there, but I tend to use it sparingly, so I’m confident my arteries are not completely clogged yet.

So, anyway, about all that cabbage. I had seen some appetizing recipes for lettuce wraps floating around, and thought ‘why not make cabbage wraps instead?’ So I did. With pork and rice, so you can almost count these as a complete meal!

3/4 pound lean ground pork
1 tbsp chopped fresh ginger
3 tbsp chopped green onions
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp sesame oil
1/2 cup cooked rice
soft outer leaves from one head of cabbage

Combine the pork, ginger, green onions, soy sauce, and sesame oil and mix well.
Cook in a large nonstick frying pan until the pork is thoroughly cooked, then add the rice and stir.
Cut the cabbage leaves into 3″ triangles (or just tear into pieces that are about 3″ on each side).
Spoon about a tablespoon of filling onto a piece of cabbage, fold it up, and eat!


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