Ahh cabbage… most well known for being paired with corned beef for St. Patrick’s Day and then forgotten about for the rest of the year. Or maybe it’s better known in coleslaw, just a side dish. There’s so much more to cabbage than it often gets credit for. It’s one of the most versatile vegetables out there and is cream of the crop when it comes to nutrition.
Part of its versatility is that it’s good raw and cooked. It does particularly well in a stir fry because it holds up well to high heat. Although the long cooking time of corned beef and cabbage has its place, cabbage is best when only briefly cooked. This way it retains most of its nutrients — loads of fiber, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Vitamin B6, folate and manganese. The brief cooking time also keeps the cabbage crunchy. If you’re ever unsure of its level of freshness, simply taste some raw and you’ll know. If it’s a little too spicy or strong in flavor, cook it a bit longer than the recipe calls for, until it’s more mild. Napa and headed cabbage have a very mild taste and absorb the flavors they’re cooked with, so that’s what we suggest for this recipe, but keep testing different varieties to find what you like best. We made ours without a grain, but feel free to add rice or noodles, with extra points for brown or whole grain!
Chicken and Cabbage Stir Fry
Adapted from Eat Drink Paleo
1 tbsp high-heat cooking oil, like canola, grapeseed or safflower
1 lb chicken breast, sliced into thin strips
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp white pepper (or black pepper)
1 tsp grated ginger
3 cups sliced Napa cabbage (about ½ medium cabbage)
½ lb broccolini or broccoli florets (about 10-12 stems)
1 large carrot, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, finely diced
1 tsp fish sauce
3½ tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
Juice of ½ lime (about 2 tbsp) — or lemon juice
1 tsp sesame oil
1. Heat oil in large frying pan or wok over medium-high heat. Once hot, add chicken and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook for 3 minutes each side, then remove to a bowl with all the juices.
2. Place the pan back over high heat and add another tsp of oil. Add the ginger, cabbage, broccolini and carrot and cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Add a splash of water (about 2 tbsp), garlic, fish sauce, soy sauce and lime juice, and return the chicken to the pan. Mix through. Cook all together for 2 more minutes, stirring frequently. Finally, drizzle with a little sesame oil and stir until combined. Serve hot.