Whenever we tried vegetables in restaurants in Taiwan, they were always prepared quite simply: stir cooked (first stir fried and then steamed by adding water) with garlic and sometimes some additional ingredients like ginger, chilli, tiny shrimp, or a bit of pork. We usually selected the vegetable by pointing at it, and we were always happy with how it was cooked. I am not usually a huge fan of cabbage, but stir cooked such that it still has some bite and with garlic as well as tiny shrimp, it was very good. Those tiny salted shrimp are often used in Taiwanese cooking. They are so small that you can eat them whole, without peeling, and they provide flavor as well as texture.
For 2 servings
1/2 head of cabbage, tough ribs removed, about 500 grams (1.1 lbs)
2 garlic cloves, chopped
25 grams (1 oz) salted dried shrimp
3 Tbsp vegetable oil
salt and freshly ground white pepper
Cut the cabbage into wedges, so you can easily remove the tough center rib. Then chop the cabbage roughly.
Heat 3 tablespoons of oil in a wok or frying pan. Add the tiny shrimp and stir fry for about 30 seconds.
Add the garlic, and stir for 10 seconds.
Note that in Taiwan the garlic was usually quite roughly chopped, so you could easily avoid eating it (and it would just add flavor).
Add the cabbage before the garlic can turn brown.
Stir fry until all of the cabbage has been coated with a thin layer of oil.
Add about 250 ml (1 cup) water.
Cover, and allow to steam…
…until the cabbage is tender but still firm to the bite. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground white pepper.
In Taiwan vegetables are always served with the cooking water, so it stays warm for a longer time.
This salmon and spinach pasta casserole is a great weekday alternative for lasagne.