If you’re feeling kinda heavy after all that Christmas holiday eating, here is another great recipe I found in my Fine Cooking magazine. The best thing about it is, it’s got a lot of veggies in it. This recipe is a nice and quick dish, easy enough to make for a weekday meal.
Hoisin Pork with Napa Cabbage
By the way, why is this called a Napa cabbage? This cabbage has almost nothing to do with that valley in Northern California most famous for its wines. What’s up with that?
Napa?Napa cabbage is a tall, oblong-shaped cabbage with wide, white ribs and delicately curled, light yellow-green leaves similar to a Savoy cabbage. It is milder than regular cabbage and also not as dense. It’s also known as Chinese cabbage, but the Chinese call it “won bok”. The Koreans call it baechu, and it is my favorite kind of cabbage for kimchi.
Since this is a Chinese cabbage, how did it get the name “Napa”? Well, it turns out that the Japanese word for cabbage is “nappa”, so the name was probably picked up by English speakers there, and shortened to just the “Napa” spelling that we know today.
You could use Napa cabbage raw in salads and slaws. Or you can cook Napa cabbage as an ingredient in many Asian dishes like Vegetarian Chap Chye and Gyoza.
Hoisin Pork with Napa CabbageAdapted from Fine Cooking Magazine, Sept 2007, pp 98a
1 lb. pork tenderloin*, cut into 1/4-inch-thick strips (about 3 inches long)
1 tsp. kosher salt; more to taste
3 Tbs. hoisin sauce (I like Lee Kum Kee brand)
2 Tbs. soy sauce
1 Tbs. balsamic vinegar
3 Tbs. canola or peanut oil
2 tsp. minced garlic
6 cups napa cabbage (won bok), cut into 1-1/2-inch pieces (about 3/4 lb.)
1 red bell pepper, cored, thinly sliced, and cut into 2- to 3-inch lengths
1/4 cup thinly sliced fresh chives
(*Note: if you’re not into eating pork, you can substitute chicken or beef.)
1. In a large bowl, season the pork with 1/2 tsp. of the salt. In a small bowl, mix the hoisin sauce, soy sauce, and vinegar.
2. Heat 2 Tbs. of the oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet or large stir-fry pan over medium-high heat until shimmering hot. Add the pork and cook, stirring, until it browns and loses most of its raw appearance, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a plate.
3. Add the remaining 1 Tbs. oil to the skillet. Add the garlic, and once it begins to sizzle, add the cabbage and pepper. Sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 tsp. salt and cook, stirring, until the cabbage starts to wilt, about 2 minutes.
4. Add the hoisin mixture, the pork, the bell peppers, and half of the chives and cook, tossing, until heated through, about 1 minute.
5. Let sit for 2 minutes off the heat (the cabbage will exude some liquid and form a rich broth), toss well again, and serve sprinkled with the remaining chives.
Serve over rice.
Hungry for more stir-fries? Click below:Cooking with Leafy Midin (Fiddlehead Fern)
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