Yes, I know this pressure cooker thing is becoming an obsession, but the more I use it, the more I marvel at its usefulness. Once a year, on or around St. Patrick’s Day we have an old-fashioned corn beef and cabbage dinner. I cook the cabbage with potatoes in the resultant broth from cooking the corned beef. The meat is a treat, but eaters clamor for seconds on the cabbage. There is something about cabbage that is cooked in a salty broth until totally tender that is completely satisfying. Maybe it’s the silken texture or the fact that the cabbage transforms into a total umami bomb as it absorbs all the flavor of the broth. Once cooked, the cabbage is pretty ugly but there is a lot of flavor to make up for the plain Jane appearance. Recently I tinkered with another way of experiencing the tender, umami bomb cabbage without having to make corned beef first. I came up with this simple Asian variation that turns out to be vegan too. I used the pressure cooker to get the texture in less time, with less “broth”. In fact I don’t use broth at all, just the cabbage juices mixed with soy, ginger, garlic and sesame oil and enough water to get it all cooking. I eat it atop pretty much any whole grain. Here I garnished with some purple and orange carrot shreds.
Cabbage Umami Bomb, Asian-Style
1 head green cabbage, cored and cut into 1/6s
1 cup soy sauce
2 cups water
¼ cup vinegar, distilled or cider
2 tablespoons Asian roasted sesame oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
2” piece fresh ginger, peeled and minced
Mix together the soy sauce, water, vinegar and sesame oil with the garlic and ginger. Pour half the mixture in your pressure cooker. Arrange the cabbage in one layer if possible. Pour the remaining mixed liquid ingredients over. Fit top on pressure cooker and bring up to pressure. Cook at high pressure for 10 minutes. Let steam release naturally. Carefully release the lid to avoid any remaining steam. Taste the cabbage and adjust seasoning if necessary.