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Cabbage with Pad Thai Flavors

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Here's an experiment which turned out pretty well. I was looking for something to go with a Thai vegetable curry I made last week. I saw a "Pad Thai Cabbage" recipe online, and though the recipe didn't look terribly pad thai-ish (how's that for mangling two languages at once) I though the idea sounded interesting. The horror--so many pad thai recipes call for ketchup. For the real deal, use tamarind paste--it comes in a little jar from Asian markets, lasts forever in the fridge, and can be used in all sorts of ways when you want a sweet-tart taste. I mashed together a few recipes, and here's what I came up with. Interestingly, it tasted even better the next day after the flavors had soaked into the cabbage a bit more.

Cabbage with Pad Thai Flavors

2 tsp vegetable oil or a spritz of spray oil
1/2 small cabbage, shredded thickly (4-5 cups)
1 1/2 cups sliced mushrooms
3 cloves minced garlic

SAUCE:
1 Tbs. fish sauce
1-2 Tbs. soy sauce
2 Tbs tamarind paste (from Asian market)
2 Tbs. broth, white wine or water
2-3 tsp. sugar (or more to taste)
squeeze of lime
a few squeezes siracha or other chili sauce to taste

2 eggs, beaten

1/2 cup chopped scallion
(optional additions--cooked shrimp, chicken, or tofu)

1-2 Tbs. chopped peanuts (optional, but really good)
chopped cilantro
juice of a lime, plus another to squeeze at table

Heat the oil in a large skillet. Sauce the cabbage for 5-6 minutes, until it begins to soften. Meanwhile, mix together the sauce ingredients.Taste and adjust to your liking to balance sweet/salty/sour. Remove cabbage from the pan, and add the mushrooms. Saute them until cooked through. Return the cabbage to the pan with the garlic, cook a few more minutes until cooked to your liking. Move the vegetables to the sides of the pan, leaving a space in the middle. Pour in the eggs, let begin to set, then scramble until set. Mix the eggs into the vegetables, and add the scallions and the sauce, and whatever other protein you wish. Let cook a few minutes, then pour into serving bowl. Top with peanuts, cilantro, and lime segments..

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