Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Happy St. Patrick's Day - Grandma Black's Hawaiian Cabbage

I think there is probably no more fitting day to share this recipe that St. Patrick's Day. This is our traditional family cabbage, we love it and we eat it all year long. I crave it most on St. Patrick's Day along with grilled lamb chops. Growing up this was my Dad's specialty. My brother, Brent, and I both learned to make it (cooking is part of our family culture.) The originator of this recipe is my Grandma Black. My grandparents were missionaries for most of my Dad's growing up years to the island of Kauai in Hawaii. She learned to fix cabbage in this way while she was living there. This ain't no boiled cabbage & potatoes, it's really GOOD! Happy St. Patrick's Day, I wish you the luck of the Irish.

Grandma Black's Hawaiian Cabbage

1 head of cabbage
1/2 to 1 lb of bacon
Lawry's garlic salt (I really recommend that you use Lawry's I can't vouch for the salt to garlic flavor ratio being right on other brands)
1 or 2 eggs, beaten

To prepare the cabbage for cooking first pull off any damaged leaves. Next rinse under water & shake dry. You want some water to stay on as it will help the cabbage to steam. Cut the head of cabbage in half, remove the solid part of the core and cut each half in 3 or 4 pieces, you want to keep the pieces relatively large. I find that a Crinkle Cutter tool gives me wonderful leverage and is easier to cut the cabbage in half than using a regular knife. Next cut the bacon into small pieces, you can use just a few strips of bacon, but a whole pound is even better. It is after all, bacon!

Cook the bacon in the bottom of a large stockpot over medium heat, it doesn't need to crisp. When the bacon is cooked, add the cut cabbage to the pot. Leave the leaf portions in big chunks. The heavier part of cabbage nearer the center you can pull apart some as you add them to the pot.

I like to use a sturdy wooden spatula to stir the cabbage, a wooden spoon would also work well. Allow the cabbage to cook for a few moments in the bacon fat at the bottom of the pan. Add a few shakes of garlic salt, then mix it around trying to pull what is at the bottom of the pot toward the top, so that new leaves will go down into the bacon fat. Add a few more shakes of the garlic salt, it needs a lot of garlic salt. Repeat a total of 3 or 4 times.

When the bacon fat and garlic salt are mixed through the leaves turn down the heat and put the lid on the pot. Let the cabbage steam in its own liquid, for about 5 minutes, stirring once or twice. You don't want it to go completely soft, you just want it to get soft-ER and shrink some in size. The final cabbage should still have some parts that are still crisp and we still have 1 more cooking step.

Beat your egg in a small bowl and turn off the heat under the pot. Remove the lid from the pot & pour the egg in, don't dump it straight down in, try to spread it around the pot a bit. Place the lid back on the pot and let sit for 2 minutes. The residual heat will cook the eggs. After 2 minutes stir the cabbage to distribute through out the cabbage and fully cook the egg. Think of the eggs you see in egg-drop-soup, the egg in the cabbage is very similar.
Serve it while it's hot!

Click photos for larger view.
Other recipes pictured:
Crispy Pork Cutlets
Smashed Potatoes


Correen said...

Really delicious ingredients for this recipe, I'm with you on the bacon ;) Thank you to Grandma Black and to you for passing it on. Hubby gives the high five to adding lamb with this dish.

Aundria B. said...

I had no idea she'd made a Hawaiian version of this - Dad held out on me - lol - this sounds yummy!

Carole said...

Wow, that looks really good - I always just boil the cabbage for St. Pat's in the "meat water" and that's it - I'll have to try your recipe some time!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing! I think I am going to make this tomorrow! Miss you friend. Take care
Love, Julie Weisser

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