Cabbages, meet wok

Last night, we made Chinese. We were given a bag of chow mein noodles by a friend the other day, and decided to break in our wok.

We started with heat and oil, added long, thin slices of onion, and several cloves of garlic. When they began to sweat and the kitchen to warm with steam, we added cabbage—lots of it, both green and white—cut in the same long, slender strips.

Slowly, everything cooked. I tossed and stirred until my arms felt weak, tongs in one hand and wooden spatula in the other. We boiled the noodles, quickly, then added them to the wilted vegetables. In went soy sauce and a bit of water and salt, and oyster sauce at just the last minute. The kitchen filled with the sweet, tangy scent of American Chinese food, and we sat down to struggle with chopsticks and eat.

The best part was, like any good American Chinese, it tasted even better cold the next day.


Serves 10, or 2 for a few days

In a large wok, heat up 4 tablespoons olive oil. When hot, add 1 cup (2 medium) thinly sliced onions, cut into long strips. Mince 4 cloves garlic; add once onion is translucent. Chop 1/2 of a medium sized red cabbage and 1/2 of a large green storage cabbage into long, thin strips (about 8 cups total). Sauté cabbage with onions, garlic, and 1/2 cup soy sauce until all are soft and translucent.

In a separate pot, throw 3 cups dry chow mein noodles into boiling water. Cook 2 to 3 minutes, or until tender. Drain and add to wok, tossing with tongs until well mixed with vegetables. Add 1/3 cup oyster sauce, stir well, and cook 1 minute longer. Turn off heat and serve hot.


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All text, photographs, and other original material copyright 2008-2010 by Elspeth Hay unless otherwise noted.