Spicy Sichuan Cabbage | This hot and sour stir-fry features crunchy napa cabbage, fiery red chiles, and bright green onion. The perfect 20-minute side dish for Chinese food at home!
This was the very first thing I had to eat while I was in China.
Okay, that’s a lie. The *first* thing I had to eat was some really bad pasta at my hotel. I KNOW, who eats pasta in China?? After an intensive 20 hours of travel just to get myself to Beijing, all I wanted was some wine and some comfort food (although, what’s really the difference between the two, am I right?).
Technically I also ate some bad hotel breakfast the next morning, but the first REAL food I had in China was at lunch on my first full day in Beijing.
We (my sister and her bestie) spent the morning exploring the Summer Palace and were thoroughly famished.
We convinced our guide to join us for lunch in exchange for taking us to a place where the locals go.
He convinced us to order eggplant (my mortal enemy, but it turned out to be delicious), spicy potatoes, noodles, and Spicy Sichuan Cabbage.
That cabbage, tho.
Guys, I think I ate more cabbage on that trip to China than I have in the rest of my combined. Granted, cabbage is a wildly popular vegetable in the winter months (when I was visiting), and there’s a ton of different ways you can prepare it.
I love the variety of textures in the stem and leaves of Chinese (aka “Napa”) cabbage. The thick stems maintain their crunch, while the leaves soak up the sauce and practically melt in your mouth.
I absolutely adore spicy food, so I made sure to include lots of red chilies in this version I made at home. You can adjust the number of chilies to your liking, or just don’t eat them!
For a quick and easy meal, serve this cabbage with some basic noodles. I just boiled some udon noodles (I know, not very Chinese, but it’s what I had!), drained them, then tossed them in a mixture of sesame oil, hoisin sauce, soy sauce, and a splash of rice vinegar. Sesame seeds make a lovely garnish if you happen to have some!
Here’s the Recipe!
- 1 tablespoon corn starch
- 3 tablespoons oyster sauce (sub hoisin for vegetarian)
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce
- 3 tablespoons Chinese black vinegar (or balsamic)
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 6 cloves garlic, chopped
- 4 scallions, sliced into 1" pieces
- 8 dried small red chiles
- 4 cups chopped Chinese (Napa) cabbage stems
- 2 cups chopped Chinese (Napa) cabbage leaves
- In a small bowl, whisk the cornstarch together with 2 tablespoons of water. Set aside.
- In another bowl, whisk the oyster sauce, soy sauce, sugar, and balsamic vinegar.
- Heat the vegetable oil in a large wok or skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic, scallions and chilies; stir-fry for 60 seconds, until fragrant.
- Turn the heat up to high and add the cabbage stems. Saute for 2-3 minutes, until slightly softened. Add the cabbage leaves and prepared sauce; cook for 1 minute, tossing frequently.
- Stir the cornstarch mixture and add it to the pan. Stir fry for 1 minute until the sauce has thickened. Serve hot.
Nutrition InformationYield 4 Serving Size 1
Amount Per ServingCalories 141 Total Fat 10g Saturated Fat 1g Trans Fat 0g Unsaturated Fat 9g Cholesterol 0mg Sodium 1031mg Carbohydrates 11g Fiber 1g Sugar 4g Protein 2g