These Butter and Soy braised Cabbage quarters make a delicious yet simple vegetable side for your Sunday gatherings.
I didn’t think that life without butter was even remotely possible until this year – well at least until last week, when I found 1/4 stick of butter in the back of my fridge, completely forgotten. Normally, I would run through a pack of butter in a month or two, but this one had been slowly consumed over the course of the last 6 months.
It was the last of the butter, and I did not intend on buying any more – it’s getting easier and easier to becoming Vegan now, except for the milk in my coffee which I am still working on, by the way. But this butter needed a going away party befitting its deliciousness.
I haven’t made this Braised Cabbage in a long, long time, but I felt that the occasion called for a little bit of extravagance. You know how I love my family recipes, but the way my grandmother made these alarmed many people. She would dunk an entire cabbage into a pot of boiling water to cook, and fish it out and quarter it with her giant cleaver in clean, fell swoops while it was still scalding hot without blinking an eyelid. Why they ever called women ‘the weaker sex’, I’ll never know.
She would then proceed to fry the steaming quarters in a ton of butter, and I am being very restrained with the word ‘ton’. But the end result was incredibly delicious – the woman had a magical way of manipulating fat into tantalizing and scrumptious meals.
I must confess, the idea of doing it her way frightened me a little, but it was the best use I could think of for the last few spoonfuls of butter in my life, so I tweaked the process a little bit to make it a lot less terrifying.
In my version, the cabbage is quartered raw, and sauteed in butter with onions and garlic until everything is just warmed up. The soy is drizzled onto the cabbage, seasoned with salt and pepper, and the whole pan is covered in foil and baked in the oven till perfectly cooked, yet still has it’s signature crunch. Feels much more humane and less like slaughter, doesn’t it?
In the oven, the cabbages braise in a gentle steam of butter and soy with no other liquid to dilute the taste, and the final product is absolutely delicate yet, delicious.
And you might find it nonsensical, but my favorite things to pair with this Braised cabbage are this Pulao (but a brown rice version) and a generous piling of raita. What can I say, it works!
Crunchy, sweet, earthy and fragrant is how I’d best describe this Braised cabbage, but you’ll have to try it yourself to truly understand how it tastes.
And I enjoyed every last wedge of the butter soaked cabbage and I’m not sure if it was the realization that I might never taste it this way again, but it was better than I ever remembered eating it.