I had a little leftover napa cabbage, so I decided to make a stir fry. Cabbage is terrific for stir fry – it softens up a bit, but retains some crispness if you time it right. Napa cabbage is a beautiful plant; it has pale green and ridged leaves, broad white parts which provide crispness, and a cool clean flavor. I love to smell cabbage – it has the sulphur aroma associated with many of the other brassica genus plants (broccoli, Brussel sprouts).It is the sulforaphane (which contains sulphur) that is one of the sources of possible anti-cancer benefits of cruciferous vegetables.
I used Napa cabbage, and wrote bit more about it, in a recent post about a delicious Asian Napa cabbage salad.
Below: I started with onion and carrot to get a head start on softening them up and bringing out their natural sugars.
Below: After the cabbage cooked down a little bit and softened up with the pan cover on, I added a couple of ounces of soy sauce, then let the flavor concentrate over medium heat.
The final product was delicious: a creamy short-grain rice, tender-crisp vegetables, crunchy-smooth cashews, and the umami satisfaction of soy. A sprig of cilantro for a bit of color, tops it off. I chose a lovely black bowl to contrast the meal. I find that when I think about presentation in my home cooking, it helps center me and connect me more spiritually with the meal and receive it in a tranquil state of mind.
Below: Oh yeah, I put some cashews in there, too, for texture and their wonderful buttery flavor. I recently rediscovered them and plan to keep them well involved in my food rotation. Cashews are rich in iron and protein, but they are very calorie dense, so don’t go overboard.