The only way mommy could get me/us to eat cabbage as kids growing up on the islands, was if she made or bought Chow Mein. Back then I don’t ever recall seeing bean sprouts in Chow Mein as I do in Canada as the norm. Maybe I’ll share that recipe soon! However as an adult, I’m always looking for ways to put cabbage to use. Here’s another (soon to be) classic dish using the humble cabbage..
1/2 lb smoked pork soup bones
1 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
3/4 lb pumpkin (cubed)
2 pimento peppers (aka seasoning peppers)
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon curry powder
1 1/2 – 2 lb cabbage
1 medium onion (sliced)
3/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 bell pepper (chopped)
Notes! I used sea salt as it’s the only salt I really use. Use your fav salt. Should you wanted to add 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme and 2 cloves crushed garlic, it will add additional flavor to the overall dish. If doing this recipe gluten free, please go through the full list of ingredients to make sure they meet with your specific gluten free dietary needs. May I suggest you watch the video below as some questions you may have should be answered there.
At my local butcher the smoked pork I purchased was labelled as Smoked Pork Soup Bones. In your area it may be called something else. Should you want to use remnants of ham, smoked pork hocks, smoked ribs, or if pork is not your thing, you may use smoked turkey. Regular smoked pork or turkey bacon could be used with success as well.
Heat the oil in a pan on a med/low flame and add the pieces of smoked pork. Allow it to cook for about 5 minutes to flavor the oil and the render some of it’s fat out.
Then add the sliced onion, black pepper and pimento peppers. Don’t stress if you can’t source the pimento pepper (I grew mine, but you can try West Indian and Asian supermarkets). It gives the dish a lovely flavor, without any heat.
After a couple minutes add the curry powder and if you wanted, some garlic and dry thyme.
Next goes the diced pumpkin (butternut squash will work as well) and stir. Continue cooking for another 3-4 minutes, then add the bell pepper.
Two minutes later add the chopped cabbage and mix well to combine and coat everything with that lovely smokey flavor.
Don’t worry if you find that it looks like it will not all fit, as the cabbage gets in contact with the heat from the pan, it will wilt down. Add in layers if necessary. Top with the salt and cook on a medium flame until it’s tender to your liking. BTW I did wash the cabbage before and after slicing.
I allowed it to cook for 5-6 minutes after adding the cabbage (pan uncovered) as the residual water from washing the cabbage and the natural juices it sprouted allowed it to steam sauté.
To personalize things, taste and adjust the salt to your liking and determine how ‘cooked’ you want the finished cabbage. The diced pumpkin will give the dish a wonderful sweet undertone. Should you want to give it a kick, add a few slices of your fav hot pepper. Serve with rice or as you would with any cabbage dish.