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Monday, September 21, 2009

In Over My Head with Cabbage

Cabbage is everywhere right now and practially screams, "buy me!" I swear that before I can finish a head of cabbage, I have already bought another one and I'm frantically searching for new recipes ideas.

This happened again at Mill City Farmers Market last weekend. While passing by Loon Organics, I couldn’t help but stare at the beautiful heads of napa cabbage. I looked to Ryan to see if he thought I was crazy for buying cabbage again, but since he gave me the nod of approval, I snatched it up and didn’t look back. I mean, how can you resist something this gorgeous?

I had planned on making Real Food Daily’s Ying Yang Salad, but felt like we had OD’ed on it last time so I needed to try something different. I considered Thai Wontons, but did not want to handle the tedious job of filling a million wonton wrappers. Luckily, I found a recipe for Sesame Noodles with Wilted Napa Cabbage from The Healthy Hedonist Holidays that included the yummy peanut flavors of the Ying Yang Salad, but had just a few simple steps. I also baked some tofu to make it a well rounded meal.

I don’t usually publish recipes that are in cookbooks out of respect for the author’s hard work, but a version of it has made its rounds on the Internet, so here it is along with my changes:

Sesame Noodles with Wilted Napa Cabbage
(4 to 6 servings)

3 tbsp natural peanut butter
2 tbsp toasted sesame oil
2 tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
2 tbsp mirin (or white wine)
1 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tbsp maple sugar
¼ tsp red pepper flakes
6 oz. soba noodles
1/2 head napa cabbage, shredded (about 6 cups)
1/4 cup chopped cilantro

Whisk together peanut butter, sesame oil, soy sauce, mirin, rice vinegar, maple sugar and red pepper flakes in saucepan.

Cook noodles according to package directions. Meanwhile, place cabbage in colander over sink. Warm sauce over medium-low heat.

Drain noodles over cabbage in colander to wilt cabbage. Transfer noodles and cabbage to serving bowl, add sauce, and toss until combined. Sprinkle with cilantro, and serve.


  1. That looks really yummy! I love cabbage too, and sometimes just a simple cabbage and carrot soup. I saute an onion in a little olive oil, add cabbage, carrots, veggie broth, cook until softened, then season with salt & pepper, maybe a pinch of nutmeg. It's lovely pureed; tastes so rich and creamy without an ounce of milk in it.

  2. Awesome idea - I should try the soup route one of these days. Speaking of, I haven't done minestrone for quite some time!

  3. We have loads of cabbage right now and I had planned to ferment most of it for sauerkraut and kimchi - I might have to try this recipe for variety.

  4. Oh wow, that looks great! I'm kind of squeamish about cabbage, but I love it in Asian food. I'll have to give this a try!

  5. I think we have the same disease when it comes to cabbage... it seems that we always have a head available, particularly these days when they're fresh at the market. I'm convinced cabbage is one of the bigger, better secrets of the universe!!

    Lately, I've been a big fan of the slow braising that gives the cabbage a bit of caramelization and sweetness. This looks like another awesome way to give it lots of flavor. Thanks for sharing.

  6. I do love cabbage and I love that it's so inexpensive. Your recipe sounds really yummy!


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