I like spicy food, though you’ve probably guessed it already through the name of the blog. Whenever there is a craving for a hot vegetable dish around the house, I’d make this spicy Szechuan cabbage stir fry (手撕包菜) for my family.
Today, I want to share this recipe with you. This is not your typical boring vegetable dish, it’s bold, hot and satisfying. I guarantee you’ll fall in love with it.
Let me start by introducing the ingredients:
Besides cabbage, you’ll need dried chili pepper (for the heat), peppercorns (source of a numbing sensation), garlic and seasonings made by combining soy sauce, Chinese vinegar, sugar and salt.
With these ingredients and the cooking tips I am going to share below, it is really easy to make this well-known Szechuan recipe at home.
Tip one: Dried chili and peppercorn are easy to be burned, to avoid that, try adding them into cold oil before turning the heat and use low heat to sauté.
Tip two: After the cabbage has turned soft, pour the seasoning sauce in and do a quick stir fry (about one minute) under high heat to finish.
We call this spicy Szechuan cabbage stir fry “the rice finisher” in our house.
Because once start eating, it’s hard to put down the chopsticks. One bite after another, I can usually finish an entire bowl of rice in just a couple of minutes.
Recipe for spicy Szechuan cabbage stir-fry is at the end of this post, happy cooking!
- Halve the cabbage with a knife and remove the core; tear the leaves into 3-inch wide pieces with hand (I prefer leaving the stems out and only keep the tender leaves)
- Whisk together soy sauce, Chinese vinegar, sugar and salt in a small container, set aside.
- Pour oil into the pan, add in the dried chili pepper and szechuan peppercorns, turn to low heat and sauté a minute or until fragrant.
- Toss in the garlic and sauté until fragrant under low heat.
- Add in the cabbage and turn to medium heat, cook about 3 minutes or until soft.
- Give the sauce (previously set aside) a light stir before adding into the pan, stir to mix well, cook for a minute under high heat or until the seasoning's evenly distributed.
- Transfer to a plate and serve!
2. To avoid burning the peppercorns and chili peppers, add them in with cold oil and cook under low heat until fragrant.
3. After peppercorns and chili peppers have released their flavor into the oil, you can discard them at this step.