Napa cabbage, also known as Chinese cabbage, has a more delicate taste than the traditional green cabbage, and a softer texture. Those qualities make it easy to incorporate the vegetable into stir-fries and to make it palatable to the cabbage-phobic.
Here it's an integral part of a fried rice dish that, unlike most takeout versions, features a good balance of vegetables, meat and rice. To make it vegetarian, double the amount of carrots and mushrooms and omit the pork.
I make this in a big, round braising pan, but a large saute pan, skillet or wok or even a nonstick roasting pan would work.
Servings: 4 - 6
- 1 tablespoon mild olive or peanut oil
- 4 medium scallions, white and light-green parts, cut crosswise into slices (1/2 cup)
- 1 medium carrot, cut into approximately 1/4-inch dice (1/2 cup)
- 8 ounces lean ground pork
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 4 ounces shiitake mushrooms (stems discarded), thinly sliced
- 8 ounces napa cabbage, cut into strips 1-inch long and 1/2-inch wide
- 2 cups cooked rice, preferably sushi rice, but any brown or white variety will do
- 2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce, or to taste
- 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil, or to taste
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
Heat the oil in a large braising pan (see headnote) over medium-high heat. Add the scallions and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add the carrot; cook, stirring, for 3 minutes. Add the pork and salt; cook, stirring, until the pork just starts to lose its raw look. Add the shiitakes and cook, stirring every 30 seconds or so, for about 5 minutes, until the mushrooms soften and just start to brown. Add the cabbage. Cook, stirring, for about 5 minutes, until the cabbage wilts and softens. Add the cooked rice and mix well. Distribute the soy sauce and sesame oil evenly over the contents of the pan, stirring to combine.
When everything is well mixed, move the rice and vegetables to the edges of the pan, creating a well in the center. Pour the beaten egg into the well and scramble it until cooked. Mix the egg with the rice-and-vegetable mixture, breaking up any large clumps of egg. Taste, and add soy sauce and/or sesame oil as needed. Serve warm.
From Nourish columnist Stephanie Witt Sedgwick.
Tested by Stephanie Witt Sedgwick.
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