Infuse the oil with aromatics and then toss at a high heat, this adds a smoky flavor to the sweet cabbage to make a quick and delicious side dish.
On a Chinese dinner table, there are always a few vegetable dishes along with the main. A quick stir fry is one of the best ways to create a healthy and delicious side dish for dinner.
This 4-ingredient fried cabbage is a family recipe. My mom cooks it all the time because it requires minimum preparation and chopping but it yields a very flavorful dish. She kept telling me, right before I moved to the US, that this is the kind of recipe I need to learn. These days, one seldom has time to cook complicated dishes for weekday dinners. And putting green vegetables on the dinner table is one of the most important tasks. According to my mom, these greens weigh more than the protein.
And she is right. Now I cook both lunch and dinner, almost 7 days a week (except pizza night). That translates to 10 to 12 meals per week so I need quick and easy recipes.
So here is it, the 4-ingredient fried cabbage that only requires 3 minutes to prepare and 5 minutes to cook. By using Sichuan peppercorns and chili peppers, the oil becomes very fragrant and adds a numbing spicy hint to the sweet cabbage. The cabbage will be seared with high heat and lightly charred, tender and meaty in texture without losing its crunchiness. This recipe yields 4 servings but my husband and I always finish the whole dish in one sitting.
Chinese 4-Ingredient Fried Cabbage
- Heat wok over medium high heat. When the wok is hot, add vegetable oil and peppercorns. Stir until the peppercorns become fragrant and turn dark brown. Turn the heat right down and scoop the peppercorns out with a spatula (or a ladle)and put aside for later. (*footnote 1).
- Turn the heat back to medium high and add the chili peppers and cabbage. Immediately stir with spatula for 30 seconds. You should hear a vibrant sizzle. Add the salt. Keep stirring until the the edges are lightly charred. Turn off the heat, drizzle soy sauce over the cabbage and stir a few times to mix everything well.
- Serve warm.
- When the Sichuan peppercorns cool down, grind them in a coffee grinder and store in an airtight container in the fridge. The peppercorn powder is very fragrant and can be used in making marinade or sauce, such as sesame noodles.