Monday, January 9, 2012

Chinese Chili Cabbage

A colleague, presently working in Dalian, People's Republic of China (PRC), sent me this easy recipe for Chinese Chili Cabbage:


2 or 3 small Chinese Cabbage (Also known as bok choy from Cantonese, literally "white vegetable"; also spelled pak choi, bok choi, and pak choy)
1 large onion, sliced
½ cup of beef stock or ½ cup of hot water with beef OXO cube
4 garlic cloves
2 finger length dried chilies
3 rashers of smokey bacon
6 Sichuan pepper husks

Thinly slice onion and layer the bottom of the slow cooker
Add 3 rashers of roughly chopped smoky bacon (the smokier the better)
Cut Chinese cabbage in half lengthways and lay in the slow cooker on top of sliced onion and chopped bacon.
Pour over half a cup of water containing an Oxo cube.
Toss in 4 garlic cloves, sliced and (up to) 2 finger length dried red chilies.
Cook on low for about 3 to 4 hours. (LEAVE THE LID ON DURING COOKING)

Perfect with any meat.

The round type of European cabbages can be used but cut or tear into largish pieces first.

A real tang can be achieved by adding about a dozen Sichuan whole peppercorns at the start.

Note: Sichuan whole peppercorns, despite the name, it is not related to black pepper or to chili peppers. It is widely used in the cuisine of Sichuan, China, from which it takes its name. In America, it is possible to come across names such as "Szechwan pepper," "Chinese pepper," "Japanese pepper," "aniseed pepper," "Sprice pepper," "Chinese prickly-ash," "Fagara," "sansho," "Nepal pepper," "Indonesian lemon pepper," and others. Check at your local Asian grocery for this ingredient.


cathy@home said...

sounds like a recipe I will use.

John Gray said...

I might have a problem getting these ingredients at the village shop

JohnD said...

Sichuan pepper has a unique aroma and flavour that is not hot or pungent like black or white pepper, or chili peppers. Instead, it has slight lemony overtones and creates a tingly numbness in the mouth. According to Harold McGee in On Food and Cooking, (second edition, p429) they are not simply pungent;

"they produce a strange tingling, buzzing, numbing sensation that is something like the effect of carbonated drinks or of a mild electrical current (touching the terminals of a nine-volt battery to the tongue)”.

Like any spice - if you don't like it, don't put it in!

Anonymous said...

Oohw! Didn't expect to find bacon in it. Could be a magic ingredient. Thanks for posting this; I'll take it and I'll make it.