Crispy Cabbage with Poppy Seeds

Jennifer May
  • 5 tablespoons salted butter
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
  • 8 cups shredded cabbage
  • 4 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme
  • 2 teaspoons poppy seeds
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Note: First, make the ghee: Put the butter in a small pan, bring it to a simmer, and cook until it turns brown at the edges, 3 to 4 minutes. Let the butter sit for a minute. Then tilt the pan and carefully skim off the solidified top crust with a spoon, taking care to remove as much of this stiff white froth as possible. Put it in a small dish. Pour the clear golden butter into another small dish, and pour the darker brown dregs at the bottom of the pan into the dish containing the froth. This can be done well ahead of time, even a day or two before; ghee keeps well in the refrigerator.

Ready your seasonings, because once the cooking starts, it will go fast.

Heat your very widest skillet over high heat. Seriously, it should be almost comically oversize for this amount of cabbage.

If you have nothing larger than a regulation 10-incher, you should probably cook this in two batches to avoid steaming—instead of lightly charring—the cabbage.

When the skillet is hot, add the ghee and the ginger. The ginger should fry immediately. Dump in the cabbage and stir.

Add the garlic, thyme, poppy seeds, sesame seeds, salt, and pepper. Spread the cabbage out evenly and continue to fry over very high heat, stirring every 45 seconds or so, giving the cabbage time to caramelize on the bottom. Watch that it doesn’t actually burn, but let it get a little dark on the edges. Cook until the cabbage has lost its raw taste but before it goes completely limp, about 5 minutes. Add the reserved butter froth, stir to combine, turn out into a serving dish, and serve immediately.

Serves 4 to 6
  • When it comes to cooking sausage, it's all about heat management

    "If you're going to grill, you can mark it first on a hotter part of the grill," says Chris Ying, editor in chief of Lucky Peach and co-author of The Wurst of Lucky Peach. "Then move it to the cooler, indirect heat to finish cooking gently and slowly, and let all of those fats and everything break down inside of the sausage."

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Host Francis Lam wins multiple 2017 James Beard Media Awards

Host Francis Lam won several awards at the 2017 James Beard Foundation Media Awards for his work as food writer and cookbook editor.