Follow a novice cook on her way to great Asian foodom!

So it’s Summer time, which means it’s swimsuit season. I hadn’t been feeling self-conscious about being in one since I haven’t had to get in one for so long, when I did put on a tankini recently, the reality sets in “OMG I am not as fit as I think I am!”  Thinking about how to trim down a bit and discussing this with my Mama last weekend, she suggested that I start measuring my rice intake (1/3 cup instead of 3/4 cup like before) and eat more vegetables… Very sound advice I believe, and something I can easily manage without having the whole family suffer along with me… So here it is, a vegi recipe, hope you enjoy!
    1 lb. Chinese cabbage (napa)
    1 tbsp. sugar
    2 tbsp. rice vinegar
    1 tbsp. soy sauce
    1 tsp. salt
    1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
    1 tbsp. vegetable oil
    1tbsp small dried shrimp
    2-3 cloves of garlic, minced

With a cleaver or sharp knife, trim the top leaves of the cabbage and the root ends. Separate the stalks and wash them under cold running water. Cut each stalk, leaves, and all, into 1 x 1 1/2 inch pieces.In a small bowl: combine the sugar, vinegar, soy sauce, salt, and cayenne pepper and mix thoroughly. Leave the oil within easy reach.

Heat a 12 inch wok right after washing over high heat. When the last drop of water has been evaporated, pour in the oil, swirl it about in the pan and heat for 30 seconds, then turn the heat down to moderate. Toss in the dried shrimp and garlic, stir fry until fragrant. Now add the cabbage and stir fry for 2-3 minutes. Make sure all the cabbage is coated with the oil. Remove the wok from the heat and stir in the soy sauce, vinegar mixture. Transfer the cabbage to a platter and serve over rice. 4 servings.

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Comments on: "Easy Sweet and Sour Napa Cabbage" (11)

  1. Your Mama is right… but as a Japanese person, we eat rice as a main dish (and the price of rice is VERY expensive, too) and it’s really hard for me to skip. Maybe I should do this with you… cutting down on rice. I already eat lots of veggies (but don’t seem to help, sorry). Sigh. I’ve been struggling with my weight for ages! It’s my gene….. I love this napa cabbage dish! I have the small dried shrimp too. :-) I love sweet and sour at the same time…but this delicious veggie dish make me want to eat more rice…..hehee.

    • Hahahaha, you crack me up Nami! Yes it’s in our heritage to eat lots of rice/carb. My Dad is originally from Northern China, where they eat tons of noodles and buns and dumplings. My Mom is originally from Southern China, where they eat tons of rice. I obviously enjoy both very much, but as I grow older, I notice my blood sugar gets very low after a big carby meal, so I’ve started to watch what I eat more closely, try to pair protein, fiber and carb in every meal. Though the problem is I do slip and want to snack on salty junk food from time to time, believe it or not, even by just snacking a little, I can tell the difference on how my clothes feels. Anyway, I am not about to give up on EVERYTHING just for the waist line, how can we be good food bloggers if we don’t cook and eat well right?

  2. We Indians eat a lot of rice and flat bread and now I am trying to cut down … i really need to! Have no idea from where I put on weight!! This is one of my kinda dish with napa cabbage :)

    • Kankana, Isn’t it hard for us food bloggers? I know food is almost always on my mind, and looking at other Foodie’s posting to get inspirations sure doesn’t help curbing my cravings. I am definitely going to stick with eating less rice, right now 1/3 cup is satisfying enough and I do feel a little less “round” in the middle. Let’s see how it goes!

  3. Jeno, I have been trying to follow what your mum says for several years and I think it works… Reducing carbs (rice, pasta or bread) makes me feel healthier too! I also mix often rice with corn or peas to cheat my eyes (the bowl is full, but only half of it is high calorie rice ;-)
    Your napa dish looks very light and delicious!

    • Sissi, that is really good to know, and the tricking your eyes trick is a smart one! I have been watching my rice in take this week, don’t know whether it’s all in my head, but my stomach looks flatter, Hahah! Very encouraging!

  4. Mmmmm, this looks so wonderful and easy to make! :D I’m a big fan of collard greens, not only because of my student (read: poor) existence. They really taste good! :)

  5. It’s true that rice is the staple food for us Asians, but for me, I can just live w/o rice! I prefer noodles and for my family, we eat more ingredients, drink more soup than eating rice and some times even w/o rice! Funny right? lol
    Jeno, I noticed that all the veggies that you cooked are all my fav! Hee… ;)

    • You can live without rice? OHHHHHH M YYYYYY GOOOOOOODDDDD! I grew up loving rice and noodles due to my parents’ heritage, even though now a days the rice intake has been taken down to only 1/3 cup a server, but at least I get to eat it!

      • Yes! Esp. when I was younger, I don’t like rice, always flat noodles and bee hoon unless when I’m eating at home when my mom cooked but I’d just had all the veggies, fish and soup, no rice! lol
        Now I’m better, I’ll have some rice but if there’re noodles, I’ll still choose them. I prefer fragrant/colored rice like chicken rice, coconut milk rice(nasi lemak), turmeric rice(nasi briyani)… funny right? hee…

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