Saturday, 27 September 2014

Burmese Spiced Cabbage

I need to learn to look at myself in the mirror before leaving the house.  I left this evening with yellow patches all over my mouth and cheek (don't ask me how I eat).  I often go out with chocolate dough or tomato sauce on myself and as bad as that is, today I looked like I had jaundice or some other liver-related disease.

Anyway.  This thing's got a lot of turmeric. Love turmeric, but like beetroot, it annoyingly marks its presence on everything.  It's a nice color though as it's like everything's been painted by rays of sunshine.  You get the counter tops yellow, you get your plastic containers yellow, you get your hands yellow, if you can't eat like an adult, you get your face yellow too like me. 
I once went to a Burmese cooking class where I was taught how to make coconut rice and a curry..I don't know too much about Burmese cuisine, but after a quick research on Wikipedia I discovered that it's strongly influenced by Thai, Chinese and Indian cuisine, which you can see from the use of fish sauce and certain Indian spices.  But their curries do not use nearly as many spices as the Indian ones.  Hmm I need to go to a Burmese restaurant.  If you're in London, try out Mandalay and tell me how it is.  It's got good reviews.
I stumbled upon this recipe whilst looking for things to make with cabbage.  Simple ingredients, turmeric, fish sauce, ginger and garlic and the dish is wonderful. I just had it as a dish on its own but it's also recommended to go alongside chicken, pork or simply rice.
Serves 4 as a side
Recipe from Leon Book 2
400 g (14.1oz) Green cabbage leaves
1 2.5 cm Piece of fresh ginger
3 Large cloves of garlic
75 g (2.6oz) Roasted unsalted peanuts - optional
1 tsp (level) Tumeric
0.5 Lemon - juiced
1 tbsp Fish sauce
2 tbsp Peanut oil
1 Large handful of fresh coriander leaves, roughly chopped

"Slice the cabbage as thinly as you can. Peel the ginger and garlic and slice both into the thinnest possible slivers. If using peanuts, chop finely.

Pour 100ml of hot water into a measuring jug, add the turmeric and stir until smooth, then add the lemon juice and fish sauce.

Heat the peanut oil in a wok over a medium heat, then add the sliced cabbage and stir for a minute or two, or until it just begins to soften.

Now add the slivers of ginger and garlic, and the chopped peanuts and continue stirring around for another minute or 2-3 minutes.

Pour in the turmeric liquid. Stir over the heat for another minute or so, and throw in the coriander leaves just before serving. "


  1. Like you, I love turmeric, even though it leaves yellow stains everywhere! I'll make sure to try Mandalay before leaving London next month. I love discovering new types of cuisine!

  2. I doubled the recipe and it came out beaitfully yellow but with practically no flavor. It certainly wasn't spicy in any definition. Did anyone else try this and find it lacking?


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