Stir-fry Cabbage Outer Leaves
This is a recipe for stir-frying the outer leaves of round (Beijing) cabbage, aka the part of the cabbage which is usually already discarded by the time they are sold at the supermarkets. While the outer leaves are not poisonous to eat, they are typically discarded because they are hard and dirty. The vegetable stall I frequent always sell their Beijing cabbage with some of the outer leaves still intact. One day, I picked out the good leaves and stir fried them as an experiment. We loveeee it! After cooking it quickly in the hot wok, the cabbage has a tender crisp not unlike stir-fried kale.
Living in Singapore has made me a ‘city pumpkin’. I am hardly able to recognize the same cabbage sold at our supermarkets when I see it with dark green leaves. I later found out that the actual cabbage still in the soil has a lot more outer leaves than this, so even the ones that made it to the market is only the tip of the iceberg (in terms of the amount of outer cabbage leaves).
When the outer leaves are peeled off, the cabbage will look like the usual “Beijing” or “round” cabbage at the supermarkets, with the distinguishable pale leaves. The cabbage leaves you tear off prior to reaching this state, will be the ones used for this recipe.
The outer-most leaves often do not look good. When an outer leaf (or part of it) looks yellowed and blemished like pictured above, they should be discarded.
As the cabbage is peeled, the inner leaves are now a lighter shade but are still typically discarded at the supermarkets. So I am using a combination of these two shades of cabbage in my recipe. As you can see, the usable amount is not a lot for a small head of cabbage, but definitely sufficient for a plateful of stir-fried greens.
The result of stir-frying the cabbage quickly in a hot wok – tender crisp cabbage. I call this the limited edition stir-fry at home :D This is frugal cooking in the kitchen!