Thursday, March 25, 2010

Cabbage

Good Eeats S3E1...(YouTube video was deleted)
(This is the second part of the show)
      I saw the above show on Food Channel tonight. It's a rerun. I don't know when it first aired, but I do know it was many years ago when I first saw it. It drew my attentions back then because the host showed the viewers how to cook a cabbage. Why did I care? Because the (green) cabbage is a bit different here--its leaves are thicker and harder than the kind we have in Taiwan. I tired to cook it once before I saw the show and I knew it was difficult, so I figured I could learn something from the show, and boy did I learn the boil-it-in-water-for-two-minutes-then-fry-and-stir-and-stir-and-fry-and-then-serve cooking instructions. I bought a cabbage the next day and followed the instructions to a T. Well, it was still nowhere near the tastes I was familiar with back in Taiwan.
      Years flew by and one night my brother came here with a head of cabbage. It looked different--the leaves were distinctly thinner, so I asked him where he got it. He said from a Chinese supermarket and it was the kind from Taiwan. After he did the cooking and the dish was served on the table, I took a bite. Oh-My-God! It was exactly the kind of taste and texture I remembered. He didn't use up all the cabbage, so he left me the rest and I of course chopped it up and cooked it the next night. Damn! I must say this cabbage alone made all the difference. Compared to the local cabbage, it was so much easier to cook. All I did was simmer it in the pan and leave it be for a few minutes, and Voilà! No rotten egg odor, no bitter tastes, all the leaves were cooked through--just good old tasty Taiwanese cabbage stir-fry!
      Yeah, I know it's just cabbage, no big deal, but you have to understand after years and years of eating those hard and weird local cabbages(and of course I quit buying them altogether years ago), to me, an ordinary Taiwanese cabbage simply became a rare treat.
      A side note. My brother said this cabbage was unique to Taiwan. I don't know if it's true, but sure it wasn't mentioned in the show I posted above(it's in first part).