I didn’t even attempt to take a picture of this monstrosity because I knew no camera angle could make this blackened pile of slosh look anything approaching edible. I’d blame Barbara Kafka if it didn’t taste so remarkable. In her famous Roasting cookbook, she advocates cooking my gorgeous green cabbage at 500°F, which quickly turns it black. Then it's mixed with the Asian-inspired sauce—also black—and before I could think twice, I was staring into the face of the ugliest dish I’d ever created.
The impetus for the recipe came in the middle of roasting a chicken according to the Kafka method. I had an obscenely hot oven and figured I should find another recipe from her book to toss in. Some cabbage was lying around and everything for the sauce was in the fridge. And while it does disfigure the vegetable beyond all recognition, it also crisps it up and layers it in flavor. Far from weepy and aromatic, it’s rich and complex. I wouldn’t serve this for company, but it is a great side dish.
About the author: Nick Kindelsperger is a co-founder of The Paupered Chef, a blog dedicated to saving time and money while enjoying food in every way possible. He sells wine for a living and lives in Columbus, Ohio.
- 1 head green cabbage, quartered, cored, sliced into 1/2 inch strips
- 3 tablespoons canola oil
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1/4 cup mirin
- 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
- 2 teaspoons soy sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon red chili paste
1. Preheat the oven to 500°F. It will take a while.
2. Scatter the cabbage on a large baking sheet and toss with the oil. Roast for 15 minutes. Stir with a spatula. Roast for another 15 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, mix together the sesame oil, mirin, rice wine vinegar, soy sauce, and red chili paste.
4. Toss the cabbage with the sauce and serve.