I like cabbage, but it doesn’t always get my creative juices going. One of my favorite ways of eating it is to cut it into circles, drizzle on olive oil, salt, pepper, and caraway seeds and then roast it in a hot oven. It gets a little sweet and the texture is soft but not gooey or slimy and the caraway with cabbage is a guaranteed combination. I guess for others, their “go to” idea with cabbage is coleslaw, or so it would seem from a recent article in the New York Times. They gave 12 other ideas you could make with cabbage other than slaw.
One of them caught my eye, mostly because I still had half a pound of ground pork left over from making potstickers. I also had dry-roasted, unsalted peanuts in my freezer. It seemed too simple to be delicious, but I thought I’d give it a try since I had half a head of cabbage languishing in my refrigerator from the previous week’s farm delivery.
It was the simplest of written recipes. In fact, it’d be silly to do anything other than just reproduce it here.
Ground Pork and Peanuts (as written exactly in the NYT link):
Put neutral oil in a large skillet over high heat.
When hot, brown 8 ounces ground pork, then add 1 tablespoon each minced garlic and ginger, and cook for 15 seconds; add shredded Napa cabbage (1 small cabbage) and cook, stirring, until soft and slightly brown, 5 or 6 minutes. [My note: I didn’t have Napa cabbage and my half a head was pretty large, so I just used the cabbage I had. It looked like a lot but cooked down nicely.]
Add a handful of peanuts and cook until lightly toasted. Turn off heat, and stir in 1 or 2 tablespoons soy sauce.
So, I didn’t have scallions, but it was great without them. The flavor of the peanuts really complemented the sweetness of the cabbage and all of the other Asian flavorings of garlic, ginger, and soy sauce. The New York Times knew what they were talking about on this one.