Spicy hispi cabbage, chinese-style

IMG_5680More brassicas today as the hispis are now in season. I have never cooked them before and this is a fine way to capture the zeitgeist for charred  vegetables. I love chilli with everything and sought a recipe that didn’t have butter which is the more mainstream cooking method. It’s another quick and easy: I made it with my teriyaki chicken and some miso aubergines for a little light supper (!) for Son. He licked the plate clean…

Serves 4
2 hispi cabbages
A little rapeseed oil
1 tbsp sesame oil
6 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
2 long red chillies, sliced and deseeded
1 birdseye chilli, left whole
A handful of almonds
A handful of black or white sesame seeds
1 tsp rice wine vinegar
A squeeze of lemon


1 Cut the cabbages into quarters from top to bottom through the root. Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil, and blanche the cabbage for 2–3 minutes until tender but still holding together.

2 Heat a griddle pan or heavy-based frying pan over a medium-high heat. Place the cabbages cut-side down and leave them to sear so they begin to colour and blacken very slightly on the edges. This will give a charred, smoky flavour. Check regularly, but don’t move the cabbages around too much. Flip the cabbages over and repeat on the other cut side.

3 Meanwhile, in a separate pan or wok, heat the the sesame oil over a medium-high heat, and add the garlic and chillies. Stir-fry for a minute or so to release the flavour. Add the almonds and sesame seeds, and cook for another couple of minutes so the almonds begin to colour. Take off the heat and add the vinegar – be careful as it will spit a bit. Take out the birdseye chilli.

4 Put the cabbage on a serving plate, and drizzle the hot chilli-and-garlic mix over the top. Finally squeeze some lemon over.


Hispi cabbage served with teriyaki chicken and miso aubergine

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