Sriracha Cabbage & Eggs, Comfort Food in Disguise

Until about a month ago, I had never really eaten cabbage. Sure, I’ve had it hidden under layers of mayonnaise in coleslaw, but that’s about it. And then my friend Laura shared some of her homemade sauerkraut with me, and I realized cabbage didn’t need to be avoided or scoffed at. And then my aunt Elene mentioned that her favorite vegetable was cabbage and she was doing something or other with it that night (what it was I don’t remember, but it was some preparation I hadn’t imagined for cabbage). And then the kicker was re-reading Sassy Radish’s recipe for cabbage and hot sauce, which she got from Molly Wizenburg of Orangette. The vegetable gods were sending me a message. They said, “Get some cabbage!!” (They’re neither verbose nor eloquent, it seems.)

So get some cabbage I did. And then I made cabbage with hot sauce and eggs.

I didn’t realize that something with sriracha, cabbage (a long scoffed-at member of the cruciferous group), and a couple of fried eggs could be so good for the soul. Satisfying is a word I overuse, I know. But it was. The crunch of the cabbage, the spice that gave the dish legs, the warmth of the veggies with the smoothness of the eggs. I devoured the plate.

It was so good the first time around, I made it for lunch again the next day. I’m apparently not alone in this phenomenon, as both Sassy Radish and Molly mentioned that when they make it, they end up making it multiple times in a row, too. I can’t think of a more basic meal in terms of ingredients and preparation, especially one that’s so nutritionally solid: vegetable-based, with lean protein and very little oil (but it’s a healthy oil!). Not a thing to feel guilty about! (Heck, you could even make the eggs without the yolks.)

Cabbage with Hot Sauce
Adapted from Orangette
Makes: 1 large serving (if you’re like me), or 2 side-dish servings

Ingredients:
1/4 head green cabbage, sliced into 1/2″-1/4″ ribbons
1/4 medium white onion, diced
~1-2 tsp Canola oil (or another oil with a similarly high smoke point)
2-3 big circles in the pan of sriracha, to taste (probably 1 Tbsp)
Soy sauce, to taste (about 1 Tbsp)
Serve with 1-2 eggs made your way per person (scrambled and over-medium are my preference)

Directions:

  1. Place a large pan over high heat. When it’s up to temperature, add the oil, then immediately add the cabbage and the onions.
  2. Stir to coat with oil, then leave them alone for a few minutes (2 might do just fine), so the vegetables get a little brown and caramelized on the edges.
  3. Add the sriracha and soy sauce, then stir. You’re going to want to turn on your fan/vent if you aren’t cooking near an open window, as the fumes from the sriracha can be overwhelming to both you and your smoke detector.
  4. Cook the vegetables until they have wilted a little. Try to scrape up the brown bits (Mmm… brown bits…) on the bottom of the pan and incorporate them into the mix.

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