Chinese cabbage with vinegar

Chinese cabbage with vinegar

Cu liu bai cai

By
From
Every Grain of Rice
Photographer
Chris Terry

Chinese cabbage has a mild flavour, with just a hint of mustardy sharpness and, after cooking, a delightfully juicy texture. The following is a Sichuanese version of a simple but satisfying supper dish that is made in many parts of China, in which brown rice vinegar lends its mellow fragrance to the greens. The vinegar is added at the end of the cooking time, to preserve its aroma.

The name of the dish reminds me of a song, to the tune of ‘Happy Birthday’, which my Sichuanese friends Zhou Yu and Tao Ping sang to me once on my birthday in Chengdu: hancai baicai tudou! Hancai baicai tudou! It sounds a bit like the words to ‘Happy Birthday’, but means ‘Amaranth, Chinese cabbage, potatoes! Amaranth, Chinese cabbage, potatoes!’

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
300g chinese leaf cabbage
2 tablespoons cooking oil
1/4 teaspoon caster sugar
salt
2 teaspoons chinkiang vinegar
1 teaspoon potato flour, mixed with 1 tablespoon water, (optional)

Method

  1. Cut the cabbage into 1–2 cm slices. Bring a panful of water to a boil and blanch the cabbage for a minute or two to soften the thicker parts of the leaves. Remove to a colander and shake dry.
  2. Add the oil to a seasoned wok over a high flame, swirl it around, then add the cabbage and stir-fry for a couple of minutes. Add the sugar, and salt to taste. Pour in the vinegar and stir swiftly in. If you are using the flour mixture, add it now and stir quickly to allow it to thicken the juices. Serve.
Tags:
Chinese
Sichuanese
Asian
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