For most of the year, I don’t care much for the cabbage. I do eat it in stews, soups, and salads, but I rarely make a main meal out of it. But the fresh spring and early summer cabbages are something else. So juicy and tender, bursting with freshness that I often end up eating the whole thing raw, before I even get a chance to make something out of it. But I also love all cabbages roasted. I am also convinced that roasting cabbages are how you make cabbage-haters like them! Brussel sprouts, kale, cauliflower – in Estonian they are all called cabbages and they are all wonderful roasted!
This time, inspired by a recent Masterchef Australia episode, I added a slightly Asian touch to the cabbage. It is not the same recipe they did in the show, as some internet gods have decided that the content of some Australian websites should not be visible in Estonia, so I don’t even know the exact recipe, but it sure looked amazing on TV.
But my recipe is very good too, so definitely give it a try next time you are trying to convert a cabbage-hater or just enjoy a wonderful vegetarian or vegan main yourself.
By the way, if you have a grill available, the cabbage would work wonderfully on a grill too, just make sure you can close the grill with a lid to make the cabbage fully cook through!
Sesame and Soy Cabbage
Cooking time: 30 minutes
1 fresh young green cabbage
Oil for frying
½ tsp sesame oil
The juice of 1 lime
1 tsp of honey (or substitute with maple syrup)
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 bunch of fresh coriander leaves + stalks
1 green chili (seeds removed for milder option)
2 tbsp grapeseed oil
A dash of salt
Sesame seeds and fried shallots, to serve
Preheat the oven to 450F.
Cut the cabbage in half. Then cut the round cheeks off both sides, so you end up with 2 large cabbage slices that are held together by the stem. Use the “cheeks” in another recipe, you only need the middle cuts for this recipe.
Heat a drop of oil in a pan and fry the cabbage on medium-high heat for 5-6 minutes on both sides. The cabbage needs to start charring a little. Then transfer to the oven and cook until soft and even more charred.
In the meanwhile, prepare your sauces – in a small bowl whisk together sesame oil, lime juice, honey, and soy. As soon as you are done with this sauce, brush some of it on the cabbage that is roasting in the oven.
In a small blender, crush the coriander, green chili, rapeseed oil, and a bit of salt to a paste. Set aside until you are ready to serve. (This amount makes more than you need for this recipe, so use the rest on your sandwiches or salads).
Once the cabbage is soft and toasty serve it on two plates, pour the first sauce all over the cabbage, then spread some green coriander paste all over the cabbage, sprinkle the fried shallots on top, and add sesame seeds. Add a few more small dollops of coriander paste, and enjoy warm.
By Kadri Raig
Kadri is a food blogger and yoga teacher from Estonia. She loves to spend time in the kitchen, but most of her recipes are simple and don’t take more than 20 minutes of active cooking time. She thinks that everybody can find time to cook healthy food at home, it is just a question of planning. "I work in an office full time, teach yoga 7-8 hours a week and write a blog. So if I manage to cook most of my meals, then so do you!" Connect with Kadri and enjoy many more of her delicious healthy recipes on her website here: www.kahvliga.ee.
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