In wintertime in Japan when selections of vegetables in the market aren’t great, we cook lots of daikon and Napa cabbage dishes. Although they are available all year around, their main season with the best flavor is winter. Daikon in winter is a lot sweeter than one in summertime.
We tend to use these vegetables for simmering dishes since that would warm you up in cold days, and good example is simmered layered Napa cabbage. I just noticed as I was writing this post that this is a little bit similar to stuffed cabbage. But., it is layered instead of rolled. This could be simmered in broth, but here I just steam it and serve with ponzu sauce.
|Simmered Layered Napa Cabbage 白菜の重ね煮|| |
- 1 Napa cabbage
- 1 lb ground pork
- ½ " ginger, grated
- 3-4 dried Shiitake mushroom, reconstitute and finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon sake
- 1 teaspoon soy sauce
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 2 scallions, finely chopped
- Advanced: reconstitute dried Shiitake mushroom. If you don't know how to reconstitute it, please refer to my other post "How to reconstitute dried Shiitake mushrooms".
- Pull off cabbage leaves without breaking them. You need about 16 of them (if they are small, you will need more). If you have trouble doing this as inner leaves might be harder to pull off, at this point steam or boil the cabbage for a few minutes to help the process. Just make sure not over cook it. Put aside 16 leaves, and chop the rest of the cabbage.
- Mix the rest of ingredients including chopped Shiitake mushroom in a bowl, and mix well.
- Take a leaf and spread the filling thinly. The amount of the filling you are spreading here is really up to you, but I will describe how I normally do it. I normally use 4 leaves to make one "Layered Napa Cabbage" so in this recipe I can make 4 separate "Layered Napa Cabbages." Divide the filling into 12, and spread one portion of the filling between two leaves. In other words, you will need three portions of the filling for each "Layered Napa Cabbage" of four leaves.
- In a heavy bottomed pan with a lid, add enough water to just cover the surface of the pan. Add chopped cabbage and then carefully place cabbage leaves with stuffing on top. Bring to a boil, and reduce the heat to medium low. Cover tightly with a lid, and steam for about 10 minutes or until the meal is cooked.
- Serve immediately as a whole or cut into smaller portions with ponzu on the side.