Before I get into this great topic – let me tell you that at the end of this post you will find a most delightful story by Great Grandmaster Tae Yun Kim, where the lowly humble cabbage plays a major role. If you have time – please read it!
I am sure everyone has heard how healthy cabbage is. It’s full of cancer fighting components, helps reduce cholesterol and is therefore good for heart health, is packed with antioxidants, has a lot of anti-inflammatory qualities, and is excellent for your digestive tract.
Several cultures have propelled cabbage to their national foods, such as Kim Chi in Korea (a very nice spicy fermented cabbage) and of course Sauerkraut of the Germans. They are both very very good and very very healthy. Give them a try, if you haven’t!
Great Grandmaster Tae Yun Kim‘s favorite is to have either just plain Napa cabbage leaves, raw, and eat them with a spoon of brown rice and goju jang, a hot red pepper sauce. Or steamed regular cabbage.
I love cabbage prepared in all kinds of ways and always like to come up with new and exciting ways to incorporate it into our food plan.
Yesterday, I started out, like I so often do, by sauteing chopped onions and chopped garlic in a little olive oil.
Then, I added shredded cabbage .
Just that, by itself, with a tiny bit of salt, was very very good. But I wanted to combine it with some protein and make a meal out of it. On consulting with my refrigerator, I saw organic, non-GMO tofu there, as well as eggs from the local farmers market. I put half the block of tofu and an egg into the blender, and some parsley and gave it a whirl.
Then I combined the tofu mixture and the (slightly cooled off) cabbage mixture and put it in ramekins, which I then steamed.
It didn’t take very long, about 10 minutes or less, to have it “set.”
It turned out really good, very subtle and gentle flavors, yet the cabbage still shining through.
I understand many people nowadays don’t eat any soy products, but still give this a try – just leave out the tofu and add another egg, or maybe substitute cheese if you can have dairy.
Go ahead, dig in your spoon and enjoy, and if you like, you can add any sauce you want, although I myself prefer to just let the simple earthy flavors come through.
Now, to that cabbage story.
“Once there was a king who had grown very bored and disenchanted with life. He went from one meaningless and stagnant day to another finding no satisfaction or pleasure in anything. He had even lost his taste for food, and all his traditional exotic dishes no longer yielded the joys they once had. He grew so tired and apathetic that he issued a proclamation that whoever could bring him a dish that truly pleased him would be richly rewarded.
The greatest cooks came from all over the world bringing their best dishes. But the king didn’t like any of them. Life continued to be one boring dish after another.
One day a poor farmer came to the palace. “Your Majesty, I have the most incredible dish you have ever tasted. On this earth there is no other that can match it, but this dish takes some special preparation, and in order for you to fully enjoy it, I must ask that you eat nothing else until it is ready, ” the farmer said. The king, by now so bored with his life, was willing to take the chance.
So the farmer left to prepare his special dish.
The next day the farmer arrived empty-handed in the king’s hall. The king asked, “Well, where is my food?”
“I am sorry your Majesty. It will be ready soon, I promise, but you must still keep your bargain.”
The next day, the farmer returned again, empty-handed. This time the king was furious. “Where is my food?” he roared.
The farmer replied humbly, “Oh, Your Majesty, I am still preparing.”
“Still preparing?” the king fumed. “I am starving, and you are still only preparing?”
“I assure you this is the most fabulous food you have ever tasted,” the farmer pleaded. If you’ll only wait one more day, it will be ready.”
Although the king was very angry and hungry, he was also anxious to relieve his boredom. “All right,” he agreed. “One more day.”
The next day the king awoke very early, his whole body filled with anticipation. He could think of nothing but the farmer’s mysterious dish. When the time came near for the farmer to arrive, it was all he could do to contain his excitement.
Finally, from beyond his hall the king heard the light footsteps of the farmer. He smelled the most divine of smells. His whole body reverberated with incredible sensations of pleasure and delight. The farmer came closer. The king could feel his mouth salivating and his stomach grumbling as his entire attention focused on the farmer’s simple porcelain bowl and its precious cargo.
The farmer lifted the lid to expose one thick slice of cabbage, steamed perfectly. It was the most simple of dishes, but at that moment, it was a precious as the world to the king.
The king bit into this pure, plain, and simple cabbage. Nothing in his life had ever tasted so good. His senses came alive as he felt once again the intense pleasure of taste, and smell, and texture. The king was so overjoyed that he made the poor farmer a rich man.”