Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Red Cabbage with Beans and Tomato Paste

Blog's Category:  My Staple Food

Red Cabbage with Beans and Tomato Paste

This is a recipe of one of our friends who happened to be a male cook which is a rarity in my circle or people:). As with any sauteed cabbage recipes, it is very good for winter time when you crave warm, comforting and home-y dishes. Easy and fast in preparation, healthy and nutritious, it is perfect fit for my everyday menu. What about you?

- As usually, using spices and herbs you may add any ethnic flare to this cabbage - add cilantro, lime juice, jalapeno to make it Mexican; add fresh ginger, garlic, sesame and red pepper paste instead of tomato paste and you'll get Korean dish; add fish sauce, garlic, lime juice and chili sauce instead of tomato paste and you'll have thai style cabbage - you've got an idea, right? Although all above will make something different than what I want to share here with you - nice, tender, comforting and just plain tasty cabbage stew.

Taste Description
It's sweet and sour, a little bit tangy, with a tiny red pepper kick. Beans add a lot of body and match perfectly to the light texture of a cabbage. Tomato paste, soy sauce and sugar, balanced, create perfect umami experience.

How to Serve
It's best served right away or when it is still warm. Leftovers will keep in a fridge for a two, three days. As often happens with this kind of dishes, I like to eat it over a pasta, rice, quinoa, etc. You may like it too :)

Red Cabbage with Beans and Tomato Paste

  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 small red cabbage, roughly shredded
  • 1 can dark kidney beans, rinsed
  • 1 can black beans, rinsed
  • 2 tbs tomato paste
  • 5 tbs light soy sauce
  • 1 tbs brown sugar (or jaggery)
  • 1 tsp (or taste) red pepper flakes
  • 4 tbs light (cooking) olive oil
- In a large pan or skillet with olive oil, cook onion until translucent.
- Add cabbage and cook on a medium-low heat until tender-soft, about 10 minutes.
- Add all remaining ingredients, about 2 cups of water and cook on a rather low heat, stirring, for about 5-10 minutes more. Add more water if you want it to be more saucy. Taste it, adjust taste adding more soy sauce or sugar. Turn heat off, enjoy!

I always use light soy sauce (vs regular or aged). It seems to me, there is a huge difference in a taste between them, it's just not about how concentrated it is - you will never get "light soy sauce" by just diluting the regular one.

Instead of brown sugar I used jaggery (do you see brown pieces on a pic above?). It is a raw cane sugar used in indian/asian cooking. But brown sugar is a perfect substitute for it.

Red pepper flakes goes in to finish it up.

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