Cabbage & Brussels Sprouts

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Hokkien noodles with crispy pork belly

serves 4 mains
difficulty easy
prep time 20mins (approx.)
total time 35mins (approx.)
main ingredient(s) noodles, , Mushrooms, wombok, Cabbage & Brussels Sprouts, chillies, chilli, cooking caramel
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Buy the pork belly from a good local Chinese restaurant, especially one that displays glossy barbecued meats. You can also buy cooked duck and use it in stir-fries or Asian salads or try my quick Thai red duck curry.

Ingredients

500 grams Hokkien noodles
2 pinches Chinese five spice
2 tablespoons cooking caramel (available from good Asian Grocers)
3 tablespoon light soy sauce
3 teaspoons sesame oil
3 tablespoons hoisin sauce
80 ml sunflower oil
350 grams cooked pork belly, cut in batons
5 cm piece ginger, julienned
6 cloves garlic, sliced
1 punnet shiitake mushrooms, sliced
½ large wombok cabbage, cut in 3 cm slices
5 spring onions, cut in 3 cm batons
3 long red chilies, sliced on an angle, seeds in
250 grams bean sprouts
½ bunch coriander, leaves picked

Method

Cook the noodles in salted boiling water for 1 minute, drain, refresh under cold water, drain again and keep at room temperature until needed.

Mix the five spice with the cooking caramel, soy, sesame oil and hoisin and set aside.

Place a wok over high heat until hot, add the oil and when shimmering add the pork pieces and fry until crisp and a rich brown colour (about 3 minutes). Remove, draining the oil back into the wok as you do.

Toss the ginger and garlic into the oil and stir-fry for about 30 seconds. Add the shiitake mushrooms and stir-fry for 1-2 minutes. Add the cabbage, spring onions and half the chilli and cook for 30 seconds. Tip in the noodles with the reserved sauce mix and toss through for another minute.

Once the noodles are hot and coated with sauce, throw in the bean sprouts, crispy pork and coriander and quickly toss through. Sprinkle over the remaining chilli and serve.

Comments & Reviews2

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This is a great accompaniment to rich and spicy Asian dishes, or works really well as a starter or light lunch. Only choose the freshest shiitakes for this, if they’re looking a little dehydrated or they’re sweating under plastic, consider making something else.

Ingredients

100 ml virgin olive oil
60 ml light soy
10 cm ginger, peeled and finely julienned
2 teaspoons caster sugar
½ teaspoon white pepper
1 clove garlic, finely grated on a Microplane
½ teaspoon sesame oil
½ lime, juiced
salt flakes
15 fresh shiitake mushrooms, cut in quarters
1 green chilli, finely sliced
½ wombok cabbage, leaves trimmed
15 cm piece daikon, sliced into ribbons
100 grams pressed (dry, firm) tofu, diced
1 bunch Thai basil, picked
6 sprigs dill, picked
6 sprigs mint, picked
2 tablespoons sesame seeds

Method

Make the dressing by combining the oil, soy, ginger, sugar, pepper, garlic, sesame oil, lime juice and a little salt. Then add the mushrooms and the chilli to the dressing, toss to coat and let sit for 5 minutes or so.

Remove around half of the wombok leaves and lay on your serving platter. Shred the remaining cabbage and add to the mushroom mixture along with the daikon, tofu and half the herbs. Toss through to coat well.

Pile the salad onto the whole wombok leaves, top with the remaining herbs, sprinkle the sesame seeds over the top and serve straightaway – it is much better fresh and crunchy.

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The secret to a cabbage salad’s success is finely shaved cabbage – use a mandolin if possible. This recipe has a little bit of spice with the caraway and sweet notes from the apple. Cheese and cabbage can work really well together, here I’ve used parmesan for a salty, crumbly accent.

Ingredients

2 teaspoons caraway seeds
2 tablespoons yoghurt
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar or other wine vinegar
40 ml extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon raw sugar
1/2 teaspoon flaked salt
1/2 small red cabbage
1/4 small white cabbage
1 Granny Smith apple
1/2 white salad onion, finely diced
50 grams parmesan, finely grated
1/2 bunch mint, leaves picked and roughly torn

Method

Roughly grind the caraway seeds in a mortar and pestle then place in a large bowl. Mix in the yoghurt, vinegar, oil, sugar and salt.

Finely shave the red and white cabbage, and peel and coarsely grate the apple. Add cabbage, apple, onion, parmesan and mint to the yoghurt mixture. Mix and scrunch really well, then let sit for 15 minutes before serving to let the flavours and textures develop.

Comments & Reviews1

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Beer-poached blue-eye cod with pancetta & cabbage

serves 4 mains
difficulty a bit challenging
prep time 20mins (approx.)
total time 45mins (approx.)
main ingredient(s) fish, blue-eye cod, Pancetta, Cabbage & Brussels Sprouts, beer
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The smoky pancetta works so well with the cabbage, fish and yeasty beer but, even though the flavours are intense, the dish isn’t heavy at all.

Ingredients

100 ml pure cream
4 tablespoons horseradish
salt and pepper
120 ml extra virgin olive oil
6 thick slices rolled pancetta, cut into matchsticks
½ teaspoon fennel seeds
½ teaspoon caraway seeds
2 shallots, peeled and sliced
3 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
½ savoy cabbage, finely shaved
4 200 gram fillets of blue-eye cod, skin on
250 ml Carlsberg beer, or another lager
50 grams butter
4 sprigs parsley, leaves only, chopped
2 sprigs of dill, finely chopped, plus extra to serve
1 lemon, cut into wedges

Method

Mix the cream with the horseradish and season with salt and pepper. Set aside.

Heat a large heavy-based pot over medium heat. Add half the oil and the pancetta and fry for 2 minutes or until crisp. Add the fennel and caraway seeds, the shallots and garlic and cook for 2 minutes. Add the cabbage and stir it in, then cook for 10 minutes.

Season the fish and cut each fillet into 2 pieces widthways. In a fry pan over high heat, seal the fish skin side down for 3 minutes, then remove from the pan.

Place the fish on top of the cabbage and pour the beer over it. Add the butter, sprinkle the herbs over and place the lid on the pot. Cook over medium heat for 5 minutes to cook the fish through.

Scatter the fish with extra dill, squeeze over the lemon, and spoon a little horseradish cream on each fish fillet. Take the pot to the table to serve.

Comments & Reviews2

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When roasted they develop a delightful, nutty flavour and when honey and dukka enter the equation…well, all I can say is that anyone who doesn’t love Brussels sprouts is very likely to rethink after eating these.

Choose small sprouts with tightly packed leaves because they’re sweeter and they cook faster.

Ingredients

2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper
3 tablespoons fragrant honey, such as wild thyme
4 tablespoons dukka, available from specialty grocers or Middle Eastern stores
4 tablespoons hummus

Method

Preheat oven to 180C.

Trim the sprouts and cut a small cross into each base. Put the sprouts in a baking tray, toss with oil and season. Place in the oven and roast for 45 minutes, shaking the tray occasionally.

When the leaves start to curl back and the sprouts are tender, take them out of the oven. Drizzle with the honey and toss with half the dukka while still hot.

Spread the hummus on a plate and pile the sprouts on top. Sprinkle the remaining dukka over the top and serve.

Comments & Reviews1

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