Saturday, January 10, 2015

Napa Cabbage Braised in Spicy Pork Borth


The school finally reopens this week. Over the break, I have completely forgotten how demanding the med school is. Today was one of those days I ended up staying on-campus until 9 pm for after-school meetings and workshops. Normally, the school would provide us dinner whenever there’s a meeting, but the let’s-feed-med-students program suddenly came to a halt due to recent budget cuts. So, when I finally got back home, I went straight for my fridge and began scavenging for any signs of food.
Fortunately enough, I managed to find a beautiful head of Napa Cabbage, mushrooms, homemade pork stock, bacon and some eggs. The bad news is, as pretty as it is, Napa cabbage is a pretty boring vegetable. It lacks crunch like its cousins, regular cabbages, to be used in close slaws. Moreover, unlike broccolis and cauliflowers, Napa cabbage does not like to be roasted. The best way to use Napa cabbage, I think, is to make into Korean pickle called “Kimchi”. This is my favorite Kimchi recipe by Maangchi. I am sure that many Korean food fans know what I am talking about when I say the sweetness of the Napa cabbage contrasts very well with spicy and savory notes from the spices and anchovies. Kimchi is just simply delicious. That contrasting and exciting flavor profile of kimchi, in fact, inspired me to come up with this braised Napa cabbage recipe.
The dish packs takes less than 20 minutes to make, but packs with loads of bold flavor. The eggs add satisfying richness to the broth once the yolks start oozing into the sauce. It was exactly what I needed after a long day of school.




Ingredients
  • 1 lbs. of Napa cabbage (thinly sliced)
  • 1 cup of mushrooms
  • 2 slices of bacons (cubed)
  • 3 eggs
  • ½ cup of Korean chili paste
  • 1 teaspoon of Korean chili powder
  • 1 cup of homemade pork stock
  • 2 cloves of garlic (minced)
  • 1 tablespoon of fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoons of oil
  • 1/2 cup of cilantro stalks
  • 1/2 cup of green onion (white part)


Directions
  • I heated up the oil in a pan, and sautéed the garlic, green onion stalks and bacon until most fat is rendered.
  • Then, I simply piled up the sliced cabbages and mushrooms on top of my garlic and bacon goodness, added the stock, and covered.
  • The cabbages shrunk considerably just in about 10 minutes on medium-high heat.
  • At this stage, I cranked up the heat to high to facilitate water to evaporate, and stirred in Korean chili paste and Korean chili powder.
  • When the wheat flour in the chili paste started to thicken the sauce (in about 5 minutes), I stirred in fish sauce and cilantro stalks.
  • I adjusted the taste with some salt and pepper and finally cracked eggs right on top of the bubbling red sauce.
  • I let the pot simmer for another 5 minutes until the eggs were cooked and the cilantro roots perfumed the sauce.
  • Finally, I garnished with cilantro and scallions, and chowed down with my leftover rice.


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