Cabbages and kings…

I cooked some cabbage once when I had some friends at my house for lunch and they were amazed at how I had cut the vegetable – into very thin strips.

STP's fried cabbage 1

Well, I’ve been eating cabbage like that all my life – my mother would cut and cook it that way. It was only after they had mentioned it that I realised that they would have it cut into big pieces to cook at those economical fast food places. The Malay food stall at Bandong that I frequent quite regularly would have cabbage every day but I would never buy – it does not look like I would like it very much…and I had cabbage as one of the sides with my terrayaki chicken at this place and I gave it the thumbs down.

Normally, I would just fry it with garlic and egg (and perhaps, some chillies as well) but the other day, I decided to add some ikan bilis (dried anchovies)…

STP's fried cabbage - ingredients

Actually, you may use prawns as well…or lap cheong (Chinese sausage)…or even bak kua (barbecued meat) cut into thin strips as well.

Of course, the cabbage must be cut into very fine thin strips…

Cabbage cut into thin strips

…the same way you would cut it if you are making coleslaw.

Rinse the cut cabbage in water and drain just before throwing it into the wok – that’s all the water you will need. Most people will add some more to cook the vegetable but it may end up overcooked and way too soft and not to my liking.

So, to cook the dish, heat a bit of oil in the wok, throw in the ikan bilis and stir till it has turned a bit brown before you add the garlic. Keep stirring till they have turned into a nice golden brown colour before you add the chillies and the cut cabbage. Push aside a bit in the wok and break an egg into it…and mix thoroughly. Add salt and msg according to taste and dish out everything and serve…

STP's fried cabbage 2

This has to be done in a jiffy so that the cabbage would still be nice and crunchy.

I prefer it this way and it’s the same when it comes to frying tau geh (bean sprouts). How on earth could they cook them till they’re limp and translucent…and still eat it, I wonder! Shudders!!!

Author: suituapui

Ancient relic but very young at heart. Enjoys food and cooking...and travelling and being with friends.

36 thoughts on “Cabbages and kings…”

  1. Oh I love cabbage strips fried with garlic, soy sauce and anchovies too. It crunchy and flavourful. Btw, I seem to notice that you use msg frequently in cooking. Do you get the dry-throat feeling after consuming msg?

    Nope…only when eating in (Chinese) restaurants. A pinch is all right with me – they use A LOT more at those hawker stalls for the char kway teow or wantan mee and what not. Then there is also the cheap version of msg, I hear – they tell me that one’s bad… Like one of my favourite kampua stalls in town – suddenly eating there caused me a lot of discomfort and somebody told me they must have switched to this cheaper msg – I never went back there again.

  2. Once when I was very young I went to a distant foochow relative ‘kampung’ house by the river near Bintangor (Binatang then) and during lunch they served fried cabbage cut into thin strips, like what you did, and fried this with a little pork and tang-hoon. It was delicious! Apparently, the addition of the tang hoon is to stretch the dish. From then on I’ve always cooked my cabbage like this but I also add a little oyster sauce, and my family (even my English husband) loves it.

    Ah yes!!! The tang hun and cabbage dish… They may add a bit of bean curd sticks (tauhu kee) and black fungus too. Very nice! Haven’t had that for a long long time… I think it’s a Foochow dish. Must try and cook sometime. Thanks for reminding me of that… 😉

    1. Oopss!… tang hun with cabbage, bean curd stick and black fungus., a Foochow dish kah? All this while I thought it is a vegetarian dish. Used to see it in vegetarian fast food. I love it cooked this way too.

      Is it? I only see it at some economical fast food stalls here… Come to think of it, I might have seen that in Singapore in the 70s…or was it my landlady who cooked it that way…or one of those tiffin-carrier caterers? Can’t remember liao… Maybe it is not a Foochow dish after all…

    2. Arthur, the nyonyas call that version with bean curd sticks n tang hoon as chap chye.

      Oh? What I know as chap chye would be a mixture of several kinds of vegetables – not my favourite, I’m afraid.

  3. i cook cabbage exactly the same way! i also cnt imagine eating limp taugeh.ewww!

    If you eat at those economical fast food stalls – all overcooked and with all the long tails. Eyewwww!!!! 😦

    Hey! How are you? Long time no see… Hope you’re keeping well… 🙂

  4. That plate of cabbage looks nice and crunchy. Some people just tear in big pieces but I prefer to cut it in fine thin strips. Cook exactly the same way but sometimes will add some lap cheong. Never try cooking with egg.

    Yes, I use lap cheong too sometimes…

  5. This cabbage dish really gives me a lot of memory. you see we were poor then, back then cabbages were one of those cheap vegies around,so mom used to cook a wok full of cabbage and add a lot of “tang hoon” and that would be the only dish that would last the whole day………………………………therefore I’ve always appreciate it this day, going back to the root kind of thing…………..Thanks for sharing

    Good! I must try the cabbage and tang hoon dish one of these days – eaten that before, very nice… Can’t remember the last time I had that.

  6. yeah I also prefer that to be sliced thin.. hmm have not tried cabbage fried with eggs!! usually just garlic and dried shrimps at home and that is actually nice enough..

    Hmmm…I think these days, eggs are cheaper than dried shrimps. LOL!!! 😀

  7. Haha! Normally cabbage/vegetable dishes sold at Malay stalls are overcooked (except ulam LOL). Their best bets have to be those associated with goreng or panggang hehe!

    Yup…don’t like their veg – only their masak lemak or cooked with sambal.

  8. Mine is big pieces… lol.. i only cut to strips when i fry mihun… otherwise, as a dish, i used dried prawns with the cabbage… yes, leave them crunchy… very nice.. now feel like eating already.. going out for lunch with my buddy shortly! 🙂

    My missus fries with dried shrimps…ok but I find the shrimp taste a bit too strong and overpowering – would rather not have them. With fresh prawns, ok…

  9. Hhheee…i cook the same way like you did too. If I dont have anchovies will swop with dried shrimp. I also prefer to cut it to thin strips, but if I am lazy hentam everything and stir stir…kao tim. LOL!! I also love cabbage soup….very nice indeed. U try it?

    Yup…cabbage with bone stock soup…but I will let it boil, throw in the cabbage and serve immediately. Don’t like the veg overcooked… My missus fries with dried shrimps sometimes…

  10. It’s not Chinese cabbage in the photo? I like Chinese cabbage, cut into fairly thin strips (but not as one would for coleslaw) and cook with sliced Chinese mushrooms. Simple and nice, yah?

    Nope, definitely not. Chinese cabbage, I cook soup and in big chunks, not thin strips like this. Somehow, I do not like it fried…

  11. Cabbage is not one of my favorite vegetables. I am not a big fan of coleslaw either. I think I will pass this one:D

    Awwwww!!! I think you will not like tomorrow’s post either. LOL!!! 😀

  12. Hah! My Dad would shudder at the thought of taugeh limp and translucent too! I cook cabbage this way too but usually add in some strips of carrot for colour since I don’t use chillies.

    Then your dad’s like me…and I don’t like the tails too – don’t mind paying more for those where the seller has already removed the tails. Too tedious to do it myself.

  13. I think I should try cutting them to thinner strips like you did! I once tried to fry cabbage with bigger pieces and I had to wait for ages because they’re so hard still! Thanks for the tip 😛

    Yeah…give it a try. See if you like it…no need for ikan bilis – just garlic and egg, also nice…but of course if you add a bit…or better still, prawns, the taste would be much sweeter and nicer.

  14. I like cabbage, my mil will cook in your way too, cut into very fine thin strips, cook with some red carrot and with light soya sauce, no ikan bilis, taste good also. But i prefer my cabbage use hand to tear it with big chunk, it taste nicer. If i cut into very fine thin strips, that will be for my coleslaw.

    Yup…the ikan bilis is optional. Hmmmm…I guess you’re used to eating cabbage in big chunks. I thought most people eat it like that but looks like there are a lot like me too…

  15. Reminds me of this restaurant in Taman Desa where the bozz aka as ‘feilo’ *fatso* who cooks very nice thin strips of cabbage fried with dried shrimps. Unfortunately his shop was shifted and we don’t know where. Tried other shops but could not match this feilo maybe the other lang-feilo in Sibu would match or even better.

    Chefs or cooks must be fat one – where got thin ones can cook nice food.LOL!!! 😀

      1. ROFLOL. U wanna know whose cooking is good, hop over to U see the mamakucing’s hubby… wasehh… maintain aje his body size. Must be really well fed. Wakakakaka…

        ps: When i first met papakucing, i was in absolute awe. I tot the mamakucing fed him til he bulat bulat, and i admired her lots for that! LOL!

        Nah…maybe he goes around curi-curi makan outside. That’s why the wife and the kid…eating the wife’s cooking so kurus. Muahahahahahaha!!!! 😀

    1. Tsk… shame on you, Cikgu. Elin is not fat worr… and her food is divine! I makan her fruit cake before. Kat sumbat me some, and it was out of this world!

      I’ve never eaten anything Elin has cooked or baked before. Elin! Elin! You saw that? Hint! Hint! Muahahahahahaha!!!!

  16. The first time I saw cabbage being cut into thin strips was the time I went to Singapore 7 years ago. Cabbage has been cut in large pieces and cooked till ‘melted’ by my parents. But the thin strips are much better. Can taste ‘crunchiness’ in my mouth. In Singapore, the mainland Chinese who sell jiazhangmieng will definitely put some onto the mee. Heavenly but salty. Don’t know why they need to put much salt like Indian mamak dishes.

    Ya…I only see cabbage in big pieces around here – not to my liking. I’ve seen Chinese cabbage strips in noodles with egg gravy, cabbage – I think I’ve come across it in Malay fried noodles only. I would prefer green veg – would add colour to the noodles.

  17. This cabbage style reminds me of my late Mom’s cooking … haizzz! Really miss her cooking. Anyway, every time I popped in your blog I will be hungry instantaneously. Now I’m going to look for something to eat in the fridge!

    Go ahead! You can cook this yourself – it’s so easy.

    1. I’ve cooked this myself before but nothing beats Mommy’s cooking … there’s always that special touch that’s hard to emulate. 🙂

      The old people’s agak-agak way of cooking is the cause, I guess. Somehow our agak-agak and their agak-agak may not be the same…😦

  18. That’s exactly how I cook my cabbages but I usually don’t cook it with chillies and ikan bilis. Just garlic and egg. Simple but yummy 🙂

    Yes, I do that too. The ikan bilis or dried shrimps or anything else with be added flavours – something different for a change.

  19. I usually cook my cabbages in kicap and I dun bother to cut them into thin strips. Just koyak the leaves den throw into the kuali. =.=

    Kicap? Oh no!!! I don’t think I would cook any vegetable in kicap… Maybe my missus would – when cooking long beans.

  20. I like to cook them until they’re a little brown, which means they’re soft. I find they release a special flavor when they’re browned. The same with broccoli.

    Will they turn brown?Perhaps you add oyster sauce or something? I know ifyou cook too long it loses its shine and becomes translucent – I do not like it like that – too soft for my liking.

    1. No, no oyster sauce. I don’t use that chemical concoction. I like to fry it with onions and keep on stirring it until it turns a golden brown color. That’s when its juices begin to flow and its full flavor is released. It’s like meat. It tastes a lot better when you sear it lightly as opposed to just cooking it.

      Ah…must be the brown from the fried onions. The sauteed ones that I did not like at that posh restaurant was brown too.

  21. Nice! It reminds me of the cabbage they put on top of Ramly Burger – they use thinly sliced strips too! 🙂

    And the Ferry Kebab at Simpang Tiga too, I guess? 😉

  22. I shred my cabbage like the way you do for stir fry but if to masak lemak,acar Penang etc,tak boleh lar shred until coleslaw like.i however tak pernah eat stir fry cabbage with eggs but have to agree with you on frying the cabbage or even bean sprouts until makan soggy noodle like that!!

    Ah yes, masak lemak or soup, I would have big pieces…but acar, I think my MIL will also cut into thin strips like this.

    1. I oso tak pernah makan cabbage with scrambled eggs like this. I din even know that it’s nice to eat like this until Claire blogged about it last year.

      I’ve blogged about this no less than two times or more myself…

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