My Much-Missed Cabbage Rice
One of the things I missed after moving out is Mom’s cabbage rice. The waft of the fragrant cabbage rice would fill up the entire home whenever she cooks the dish. I have not thought about cooking it on my own after moving into our own place. This is because I am still a novice cook and I was always busy with the endless marking that plagues most teachers.
A twist of fate
A wedge of cabbage ended up in my kitchen recently and I was cracking my head trying to figure out what to do with it. That morning, the friendly auntie at the vegetable stall managed to sell me the cabbage when I was shopping for other veggies (“买一点 cabbage 啦… 太多吃不完啊？不用紧，auntie 切一半给你！” ). I remembered that Mom recently cooked her cabbage rice for Papa, and decided to attempt to cook the dish.
Putting together the recipe
I consulted Mom mainly on the steps as the amount of ingredients she used were based on estimation. She is a veteran cook after all and often went with her gut-feel and memory for the ingredients. Coupled with some reading up online, I improvised and came up with my own rendition of the much-missed cabbage rice. It still tastes like Mom’s version but with a key difference – mine uses chicken meat (bone-in!) and chicken stock for the flavour in the rice, while hers relied on dried shrimps, dried mushrooms and soy sauce. I’m pretty sure my carnivorous hubby will appreciate this more 🙂
My cabbage rice recipe
Ingredients (Serves 2)
- 1 cup Japanese rice
- 1 whole chicken leg cut into 4 pieces
- ¼ wedge cabbage
- 1 medium red onion
- 1 tbsp minced garlic
- 4 pcs sliced old ginger
- 1 tbsp light soy sauce
- 1 tbsp ginger juice
- 2 tbsp sesame oil
- 1 tsp brown sugar
- 1 tsp corn flour
- ¼ cup dried shrimps (hae bee)
- 250ml chicken stock
- Make shallow cuts on the chicken and marinate it in soy sauce, ginger juice, brown sugar, corn flour and 1 tbsp sesame oil. Leave for at least 6 hours in the fridge.
- Wash rice. Soak rice in the rice cooker with chicken stock and sliced ginger for 1 hour prior to cooking.*
- Soak dried shrimps in water until softened (about 30 minutes depending on the size of shrimps).
- Chop cabbage into roughly 2 cm squares.
- Peel and slice onion.
- Pat dry soaked shrimps with paper towels. Keep the soaking water.
- Heat 1 tbsp sesame oil and fry dried shrimps until fragrant.
- Add garlic and onion. Fry until onion softens.
- Add chicken (without the marinate) and stir fry until the chicken gets cooked on the outside.
- Add cabbage and 1 tbsp of the soaking water. Mix well everything and simmer until cabbage starts to soften (about 5 minutes).
- Transfer everything into the rice cooker.
- Set to cook under “white rice”.
- When the rice is ready, remove the sliced ginger. Mix well before serving.
* – Additional Notes
- I used Japanese white rice which benefits from soaking. Simply wash and drain if you are using the normal Chinese white rice. No soaking is needed.
- Water may be used for soaking in place of the chicken stock. In that case, adjust the taste accordingly at Step 5 before simmering.
- After adding the stock in the rice cooker, if the water level is below the 1 cup marking, top up the deficit with the soaking water for the dried shrimps for a more flavourful taste.
Feel free to share your thoughts with me after trying out the recipe!