Michihili (mi-CHE-he-lee) – Chinese Cabbage
When we first planted the seeds for this <new to us> variety of Chinese Cabbage, we were expecting small, oval ‘bok choy’ sized heads… but we soon realized we were in for a BIG surprise!
This tall Asian green has coarse, dense, narrow leaves with a deeper green outer color and lighter green interior with wide, flat white ribs. A quick internet search revealed that it can be used for fresh, raw salads or braised/stir fried as a cooking green.
It was very good stir fried , with a little olive oil, some onion, and soy sauce to taste. Quick, healthy & delicious… BUT we still had quite a bit more in the fridge & began looking for a way to use this gigantic veggie at least a pound at a time… so, with the change in weather, we started thinking SOUP!
The recipe below can easily be adjusted down, using 2-3 leaves of michihili cabbage (or a smaller head of cabbage, such as bok choy or napa cabbage) and 1/2 the amount of the rest of the ingredients, incase you don’t have a large enough soup pot. When we made it, we used ground turkey for the “meat”, but next time we are going to try some ground pork or pork sausage, which we expect will have even more flavor. If you are vegetarian, you can leave the meat out and add an egg or two, if you are not vegan.
CHINESE CABBAGE SOUP
In a pot, pour some cooking oil, (use whatever you normally use – we use olive oil and it doesn’t affect the taste) and saute the onion until golden brown. Add the ground meat and brown.
Add the sake and the water. Bring it to a boil and then add the chicken stock and soy sauce. Add the chopped Chinese cabbage, sesame oil and finally, the white pepper. Simmer until cabbage is done.
Onced served, you may find it needs a little bit of salt or more soy sauce, (but taste first, because most chicken stock and soy sauce have a pretty high sodium content.) Season to taste and enjoy!
PS. We should have LOTS of Michihili all through the fall, on Saturdays at the Atherton Market. We hope you’ll get some & give this recipe a try!