In Season Now: Cabbage
Cabbage, like its brassica cousins kale and broccoli, is rich in fiber, and vitamins C and K. Here, braised cabbage takes a sharp detour from Eastern Europe to Asia, with help from sake and rice vinegar. Also in the mix are key ingredients that combine to make a traditional Japanese spice blend called togarashi – citrus, nori, sesame seeds, chili flakes, poppy seeds and garlic.
Braised Savoy Cabbage with Japanese Flavors
3 tablespoons sesame oil
4 ounces red onion (1 small), sauté slice
1 bunch radishes (8 radishes), half-moon slice
1 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
5 cloves garlic, minced
¾ pound Savoy cabbage (1 medium), shredded
1 cup sake
½ cup brown rice vinegar
Zest of 1 orange
1 tablespoon black sesame seeds, toasted
1 tablespoon nori flakes
1 teaspoon poppy seeds
1 teaspoon red chili flakes
3 scallions, sliced on a diagonal
In a 12-inch sauté pan, heat oil over medium flame. Add red onion, radishes, and salt. Sauté 1-2 minutes, cover pan, lower heat, and sweat vegetables for an additional 1-2 minutes.
Add garlic to pan and sauté for 1 minute. Add cabbage to pan and sauté just until cabbage begins to wilt, another 1-2 minutes.
Add sake and brown rice vinegar to pan. Raise heat and cook until sake and vinegar are evaporated, about 1-2 minutes. Stir in orange zest.
Combine black sesame seeds, nori flakes, poppy seeds, and red chili flakes. Add mixture to cabbage and stir over heat for more 1 minute. Add additional salt to taste and serve immediately, garnished with scallions.