Sunday, June 19, 2016

Burmese Stir-Fried Cabbage with Scrambled Eggs

Cabbage with Scrambled Eggs
Weekends were very special when we were growing up, made even more festive by Mum's cooking. She was a consummate cook of Indian, Burmese and Asian cuisines and passed on her love for cooking to all eight of us. We were curious and eager to try all kinds of food, both vegetarian and non-vegetarian. 

Being a single mother of eight and a professor in a women's college meant that she was not able to spend as much time in the kitchen as she would have liked. Evenings and weekends were festive affairs because visitors dropped by unannounced, tea and snacks were constantly being served and meals were prepared by Mum with a lot of help from all of us and the hired help. There were occasions when her Thai students who lived at the hostel would arrive with all the necessary ingredients to prepare a feast for all of us. They were so happy to have a kitchen that was open to them so they could enjoy their cuisine, which they missed terribly.

This stir-fried cabbage dish is one that I associate with Mum's loving and nurturing nature. Cabbage is totally tasteless on its own, but is transformed when stir-fried until crisp, flavoured with the zing of black pepper powder and the umami of fish sauce. Add eggs into the mix and it assumes an unforgettable contrast in texture from the crispness of the cabbage to the creaminess of the scrambled eggs.

This is served as a side dish to accompany any Asian meal and is best suited to be had with hot, steamed long-grain rice.

Cut a head of cabbage in quarters,
then slice each quarter and dice.

1 head of cabbage, diced
4 Tbsp. white oil
1 large onion, peeled and diced
6-8 cloves of garlic, minced
2 (or more) green chilies, minced
1 Tbsp. black pepper powder
2 Tbsp. fish sauce
2 Tbsp. butter
2-3 eggs, beaten
salt to taste

  1. Dice a head of cabbage as shown above.
  2. Heat oil over medium-high heat and stir-fry onions, garlic and chilies until onions turn translucent. Do not brown.
  3. Add cabbage and pepper and stir-fry just until cabbage softens but is still crisp.
  4. Season with fish sauce and salt to taste.
  5. Make a well in the center and melt butter, add beaten eggs and allow to set.
  6. While the eggs are still runny, stir into the cabbage and remove from heat.
  7. Cover and set aside for at least 5 minutes before serving over a bed of rice.

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