I haven't been posting lately because I've been testing recipes for the cookbook that I'm writing. I don't think I've mentioned that before, but I am very excited about how it's turning out! I'll let you know more as it progresses. So, I haven't been cooking very many things that are new and different that I can post. Yesterday, I made a quick Sweet and Sour Cabbage dish to go with a little Pork Loin that I was roasting, while I was testing Chinese Barbecue Sauces and the dish went so well with the Pork that I decided to go and ahead and share it with you. I realized while in Germany a few years ago that whenever a fatty meat was served, like Pork, they also served something sour to help the digestive processes of the liver and gallbladder. The Chinese have always thought that way too so this is a perfect little dish for just that purpose. I think Cabbage in all it's various manifestations is a wonderful and extremely underrated vegetable! Like all members of the Brassica family, it is very nutritious and protective health-wise so that alone is a good enough reason to eat more Cabbage. But I eat it because it is delicious. This recipe takes only a few minutes to cook, which is so helpful for a busy cook. I decided on it at the last minute because I realized I forgot to plan for a vegetable and I was so happy I did!
Quick Sweet and Sour Napa Cabbage
3 cups chopped Napa Cabbage
2 Tablespoons Vegetable Oil
1 Tablespoon Chinkiang Vinegar (Chinese Black Vinegar - you can also use Balsamic Vinegar)
1 teaspoon Sugar
1/4 teaspoon Salt
fresh Ground Black Pepper
Optional 1 Green Onion, trimmed and cut into small pieces
Heat a wok or frying pan and add in the oil. Then add in the Napa Cabbage (and Green Onion if using) and stir frequently until the Cabbage starts to brown just slightly on the edges. Mix together the Vinegar, Sugar and Salt and stir into the Cabbage. Top with a little Black Pepper over the top.
Five Element Analysis
Cabbage belongs to the Earth Element and the Sugar adds just a bit more, so this is a primarily Earthy side dish. The Vinegar contributes a little bit of the Wood Element. If you use the Green Onion, you add in a little bit of the Metal Element too and the Black Pepper adds just a hint of the Fire Element. This is a very good addition to a meal that needs more of the Earth Element.