Recipe Source: Cramer, Marc. Imperial Mongolian Cooking. Hippocrene Books, New York, 2003 p. 169
Okay, I will be the first one to admit that Genghis Khan did not actually consume this dish cooked this way. He would have had no access to things like hot peppers or bell peppers, for one thing, and I'm not sure that vegetables made up a large part of the diet of the extremely nomadic horde. It's a really tasty dish, though.
What's that? Did Fearless actually refer to a cabbage dish as being "tasty?" Yes, yes I did and I'll tell you why: because it was tasty. I've been trying to find tasty cabbage recipes and I'll admit that it's hard because I've always hated cabbage. The thing is, we joined a CSA group this year. Cabbages of various types grow quite well in New England and well, I've paid for them. These are Napa cabbages. They are not nearly as "whiffy" as the abhorred green/white cabbage or red cabbage. I had a couple of them lying around and needed to use them up. I also needed a dish to bring to a big camping event we attended up in Maine this year. I decided that even though this was not a medieval dish it would do quite well for the purpose and I was right.
I made a few changes as you might expect. I had two cabbages so I used two cabbages, but I didn't increase the other quantities by a whole lot. I decided that whatever the title, the original recipe was somewhat lacking in spice so I decided to add three jalapenos to the dish. I also added cumin to the five spice powder because I like it. The Napa cabbage was also a change, but I've already discussed that. This dish went over extremely well at the Saturday night dinner. I highly recommend this if you should find yourself in possession of cabbage.
Spicy Cabbage "Genghis Khan" (Serves 20; approx. $0.76/serving)
2 heads Napa cabbage, cleaned and diced
1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
3 onions, diced
3 jalapeno peppers, diced
1 ½ tablespoons olive oil
12 ounces sliced mushrooms
1 yellow bell pepper, sliced
1 orange bell pepper, sliced
1 teaspoon Chinese five spice powder
1 ½ teaspoons cumin
2/3 cup water
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon mushroom soy sauce
1 tablespoon Aleppo pepper or to taste
- Large bowl
- Large wok
- Sprinkle the cabbage with the salt and let sit 40 minutes.
- Heat the oil in the wok.
- Add the onions and jalapenos. Sauté until the onions are transparent.
- Add the remaining vegetables. Sauté until softened.
- Add the cabbage. Sauté until just wilted.
- Combine the water with the cornstarch and soy sauce. Add to the wok.
- Cook until the sauce is thickened and serve.