Sometimes I get the weirdest cravings. Like for iced coffee in the middle of a February snowstorm. Or for bubble baths (likely a result of said iced coffee). Or for cabbage, a vegetable I think of little outside of those lone, random lustings.
Generally, cabbage comes into my mind mainly in the summer, when its heads are running rampant in the garden. It comes to mind when I’m dining outside, veg. or fish tacos in hand, and a few shreds of crunch lace the top. I can get down with some cole slaw, too, but I can’t say I’m dreaming of it all year. It’s definitely not something I seek out. (This recipe excluded.)
Cabbage, however, seized my mind this past cold, wintry week. (Along with thoughts of California. And beaches. And everything else warm-related, to the extent I started writing about it in my music journalism…)
As per usual, while working at a coffee shop shifted to daydreaming of dinner at a coffee shop, as per not usual, my mind drifted to cabbage. And so was born this recipe.
Coconut curry’s something I daydream of on the regular, so no surprises here. It gives this pasta a vegan sauciness that feels creamy but not overly rich. It pairs perfectly with the crunch from the cabbage, and the peanuts thrown on top. Feel free to swirl in a little peanut butter if you do want to take it to the richer side, or if you simply don’t have any peanuts on hand. Just don’t skip out on the nutty element all together.
A little cabbage, yes cabbage, to brighten up a winter day. Who would’ve dreamed? Me.
- -2 Tbsp. olive oil
- -2 cups shitake mushrooms, sliced
- -6 cups cabbage, thinly sliced
- -3 garlic cloves, diced
- -1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
- -1 1/3 cup coconut milk
- -1/2 cup water
- -1 1/2 Tbsp. red curry paste
- -1 tsp. curry powder
- -1/4 tsp. cayenne, optional
- -1 tsp. salt, plus more to taste
- -2 carrots, grated
- -1 small lime
- -1 Tbsp. light brown sugar
- -1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
- -1/2 cup roasted peanuts, chopped
- -8 oz. thin stranded spaghetti or soba noodles
- In a large saute pan, heat oil over medium high. Add shitake mushrooms. Sear for 3-4 minutes. Then, stir in cabbage, garlic and pepper. Saute another 3 minutes. Stir in coconut milk, water, curry paste, curry powder, salt, and cayenne, if using.
- Let simmer for 3-4 minutes, until cabbage is tender. (Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions.) Stir in brown sugar and lime and cook for another minute. Remove from heat. Add cilantro.
- Drain pasta, then return to pan. Toss with cabbage saute. Serve, topped with chopped peanuts.
If you don't have peanuts on-hand, you can add a dollop (1 Tbsp. or so) of crunchy peanut butter to each plate.