Ep. 11: The Cabbage Patch Batch

Synopsis

What is cabbage, and can you eat it? It’s a vegetable, so yes! Moriah, Sarah and Rachel talk about (mostly fermented) cabbage dishes from around the world.

Links

  • Freedom Fries Forerunner: Rachel read an excerpt from this New York Times article from 1918, in which sauerkraut dealers propose changing the dish’s name to “Freedom Cabbage” due to anti-German sentiment.
  • The sisters mentioned the Wilhelm Scream, a stock sound effect used in more than 200 movies, video games and other projects. Here’s an episode of On The Media on the iconic sound. Caution: Once you hear it, you’ll hear it everywhere.
  • Here’s a short article on the history of kimchi.

Recipes

This recipe wasn’t mentioned in the episode, but Okonomiyaki (which roughly translates as “fried stuff you like”) is a favorite of quick-and-easy Japanese cuisine. It’s basically a pancake with shredded cabbage and a bunch of other stuff that you like.

Okonomiyaki

Ingredients

  • 18 ounces of cabbage (or about half a head)
  • About 11 ounces of other vegetables
  • About 7 ounces meat, poultry, or seafood, diced
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ cup cold water
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • Okonomiyaki sauce, Japanese mayonnaise or other sauce
  • 1 packet shaved bonito flakes (optional)

Directions

  1. Remove the core from the cabbage, and then use a mandolin or sharp knife to slice it into thin ribbons. Add the cabbage to a large bowl along with the other vegetables and meat.
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs and cold water together. Add the flour and salt, and then whisk until there are no lumps left.
  3. Pour this mixture over the cabbage and vegetables, and then stir together until it’s well combined.
  4. Split the oil between 9″ frying pans. Heat over medium heat until hot. Split the cabbage mixture between the two pans, then flatten out the tops into an even round pancake. Turn the heat down to medium low, cover the pans with lids, and let them steam for about 10 minutes.
  5. After 10 minutes, lift up an edge of a pancake with a spatula and check and see if it’s browned, if not, cover and let it cook until the bottom is a golden brown.
  6. Flip the pancake over. Ideally you’ll want to flip it in the pan with a flick of the wrist, but if you don’t have confidence in your flipping abilities, use two spatulas and carefully flip it over. You can also flip it into another preheated pan, but to make 2 at once, you’d need 4 frying pans of the same size.
  7. Press down on the pancake to compress the vegetables on the other side, and let it fry uncovered until the second side is browned.
  8. Transfer your okonomiyaki to a plate, and then cover with your desired condiments. Top with the bonito flakes and serve.

Music

This week’s outtro was Tom Archia performing “Cabbage Head,” a big-band take on a folk song widespread among English-speaking cultures.

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